Aided by the third busiest month in Las Vegas airport history at 4.57 million passengers, Nevada posted $1.3 billion in gaming revenue in May, a record for the month and the 15th consecutive month of exceeding $1 billion.
The $1.3 billion is a 5.71% increase over May 2021 and 32.4% over May 2019.
In addition, May’s gaming revenue was the fourth highest month in history, behind third-place November 2021 at $1.321 billion, second-place March 2022 at $1.355 billion, and number-one July 2021 at $1.359 billion.
Clark County recorded $1.12 billion, a 7.1% increase, and the Strip fared even better with a 11.6% increase to $731.5 million, up from $655.3 million. Strip gaming revenue was up 41.4% from May 2019, Deutsche Bank reported.
Downtown Las Vegas gained 5.2% to $78.8 million, up from $74.9 million in May 2021. It was up 43.8% versus May 2019.
“This month’s total win amount represents the highest May total gaming win recorded all-time for the state, Clark County, downtown Las Vegas, and the Strip,” said Michael Lawton, a senior economic analyst for the state. “Gaming win on the Las Vegas Strip benefited from special events and baccarat win amounts. Additionally, the Strip was lifted by strong demand for travel; Reid International recorded its third busiest month of all time in May.”
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported Thursday that Las Vegas had 3.44 million visitors in May, a 19.8% increase over May 2021, but 6.6% below May 2019 prior to the pandemic.
Overall hotel occupancy was 82.6% in May, 11.7% ahead of May 2021, but 8.2% below May 2019. Weekend occupancy was 91.9%, up 4% over May 2021, but down 4.5% from May 2019. Midweek occupancy at 78% was up 16% over May 2021, but down 9.3% over May 2019, the LVCVA reported.
Midweek occupancy was helped by 391,100 convention attendees in May, down 25% from May 2019.
The average daily room rate broke another record at $175.76, some 25% higher than May 2019, according to the LVCVA.
Special events of note included Canelo Alvarez fighting Dmitry Bivol at the T-Mobile Arena on May 7 for the WBA Super Light Heavyweight Title and the Electric Daisy Carnival was held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on May 20-22. The Eagles performed at the MGM Grand Garden on May 28.
Lawton said the Strip faced a very difficult comparison versus the growth rate for May 2021 over the pre-pandemic month of May 2019 (+26.7%) and moving forward, the Strip will be facing stiff comparisons for the remainder of the calendar year.
Las Vegas locals casinos’ gaming revenue of $254.9 million for May was down 1.4% year over year. It was up 23.5% compared to May 2019, according to Deutsche Bank.
“Demand in the Las Vegas locals market decelerated month over month, more than anticipated, which may be the lower-end Las Vegas locals consumer worsening,” said Joseph Greff, an analyst with J.P. Morgan in a note to investors. “That said, even if June slows relative to May, we don’t see downside to (Boyd and Red Rock Resorts EBITDA estimates), but further second-half deceleration could suggest modest downside to their locals (casinos during the) second-half of 2022 revenues/EBITDA results.”
Greff said the May calendar was unfavorable, with eight weekend days in 2022, versus nine days in 2021 (and nine days in 2019).
While Las Vegas did well, other parts of the state did not.
Laughlin recorded a decrease of 2.94% to $46.7 million. Reno fell 4.46% to $62.8 million. South Lake Tahoe had a 13.69% decline to $17.5 million.
Table, counter, and card games won $429.9 million, an increase of 10.4% ($40.6 million), and games drop of $3 billion increased 24.8% from May 2021.
Baccarat win of $134.4 million increased 24% ($26 million) and baccarat drop of $790.8 million increased 60.4%. Baccarat’s hold percentage was 17.0% versus 21.99% last year.
Nevada sportsbooks won $27 million, down 0.3% compared to May 2021, due to a hold percentage of 4.81% versus 5.67% last year. Sportsbook wagers totaled $561.6 million, up 15.4% compared to May 2021.
Sports wagers made with mobile apps won $16.4 million (up 23.7%) on $397.6 million in wagers (up 33.5%), holding 4.13%. This amount accounted for 70.8% of total wagers, Lawton said.
Slot win of $870.1 million increased 3.5% ($29.6 million) and coin-in of $11.9 billion was up $102.3 million or 0.9%.
Relative to May 2019 levels, Strip slot revenue of $391 million increased 36%, with handle up 34%, Greff said.
For the month (versus May 2019), Strip table-game win was up 49% at $332 million on the higher drop, up 17%, and hold, up to 15%, Greff said. On a year-over-year basis, win increased 15% with handle up 36%.
For the month (versus May 2019), Strip table-game win excluding baccarat increased 19%, with table drop excluding baccarat up 21%; table hold, excluding baccarat, was down to 13.8%. On a year-over-year basis, Strip table game win excluding baccarat increased 9% with drop up 25%, Greff said.
For the month (vs. May 2019), Strip baccarat win increased 144%, Greff said. The hold was elevated at 17.1% (versus a depressed 7.7% in 2019).
Excluding baccarat (vs. May 2019), Strip monthly gaming revenues increased 30% to $600 million, with volumes that were 31% higher, Greff said.