Nevada: Strip baccarat helps state set September record despite other declines

October 31, 2023 3:54 PM
Photo: Shutterstock
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports
October 31, 2023 3:54 PM
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports

Buoyed by strong baccarat results on the Las Vegas Strip, Nevada reported a September record in gaming revenue, despite many statewide segments reporting year-over-year declines.

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The September total win of $1.27 billion increased 1.7% or $21.1 million versus September 2022. Gaming revenue is up 3.4% for the year.

On the Strip, aided in part by a September record for passengers at Harry Reid International Airport, gaming revenue increased 6.9% from $693.1 million a year ago to $741.2 million in September. For the year, the Strip revenue is up 5.9% over the first nine months of 2022.

The difference in September was the baccarat win, up $68.9 million or 87.8%, according to Michael Lawton, a senior economic analyst with the state. While volume was down 3.2% or $21.9 million, hold was 22.2% versus 11.5% a year ago, Lawton said.

“The Las Vegas Strip benefited from a baccarat win of $147.4 million, which accounted for 20% of the Strip’s total win in September,” Lawton said. “If you excluded baccarat from the Strip’s total, gaming win on the Las Vegas Strip would have decreased by 3.4% or $20.8 million.”

The strength of the Strip was in contrast to the rest of the state.

Statewide total win, excluding the Las Vegas Strip, decreased by 4.9% or $27 million in September. For the year, statewide win total is up 0.2% or $10.8 million, excluding the Strip.

Casinos that serve Las Vegas residents reported $225.3 million in revenue in September, a decline of 6.2% in September 2022.

Downtown Las Vegas recorded $68.3 million in revenue, a 7.86% decline from September 2022 when it was $74.2 million.

The Boulder Strip had a steeper decline at 9.4% to $67.4 million, down from $74.4 million.

Mesquite fell 1.9%. Reno gaming revenue fell 7% to $63.9 million. Sparks fell 6.7%. South Lake Tahoe fell 5.6%.

One of the few segments that saw an increase was Laughlin that rose 6.43% to $41.6 million.

Nevada continued to record gaming-win amounts in excess of pre-pandemic. Statewide total win was 20.1% or $212.3 million over September 2019. September also represented the 31st consecutive month that the state has recorded $1 billion in monthly gaming win.

Las Vegas hosted more than 3.3 million visitors in September, slightly behind (-0.5%) September 2022, while estimated convention attendance for the month of 407,900 was up 9.5%, supported in part by the PACK Expo trade show with 32,000 attendees that rotated back into the destination since its last Las Vegas show in 2021, according to Kevin Bagger, vice president of the research center at the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. For the year, visitation is up 1.9 million to 30.5 million, a gain of 6.6%.

Overall hotel occupancy reached 82.6% for the month (-0.5 points year-over-year) as weekend occupancy came in at 89% (-3.1 points year over year), and midweek occupancy reached 78.9%, surpassing last September by 0.3 points, Bagger said.

Average daily room rates exceeded $201 for the month, +7.7% year-over-year while revenue per available room exceeded $166, +7% year over year, Bagger said.

The Strip benefited again from a residency, concert, and sports calendar.

“Weekends with Adele” returned to the Colosseum. Lady Gaga performed at Park MGM. The Jonas Brothers performed at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. UFC Fight Night was held at the T-Mobile Arena featuring a bout between Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenk, Lawton said.

The Las Vegas Raiders’ home opener was held at Allegiant Stadium. U2 opened the brand-new 17,500-seat MSG Sphere Arena. Canelo Alvarez defended his super middleweight titles against Jermell Charlo at the T-Mobile Arena.

There was also a favorable calendar compared to September 2022 with one additional weekend day.

When compared to September 2021, Nevada’s September 2022 gaming win increased 7.9%, with the Las Vegas Strip’s gaming win increasing by 8.3%.

The Strip’s slot win totaled $383.1 million and decreased 6.4% or $26.4 million from September 2022. Coin-in totaled $4.7 billion and decreased 3.7% or $181.9 million and slot hold was 8.14% versus 8.38%.

Prior to September, the slot win last decreased in July 2022, Lawton said. This is the first decrease to slot volume since 2022 and ended a streak of 30 consecutive monthly increases to slot volume on the Strip, going back to March of 2021.

The Strip’s table-game win totaled $358.1 million and increased 26.3% or $74.5 million. Drop totaled $2.1 billion and decreased 7.1% or $157.4 million, while hold was 17.29% versus 12.73% last year, Lawton said.

Statewide, slot win of $814.6 million decreased 5.1% or $43.9 million and coin-in of $11.6 billion was down $164.5 million or 1.4%. Slot win percentage was 7% versus 7.3% in September 2022. Slot win has decreased in three of the last four months.

Statewide, table, counter, and card-game win of $456 million increased 16.6% or $65.1 million. Games drop of $2.9 billion, decreased 4.4% or $133.3 million from September 2022. Games hold was 15.8% versus 13% last year.

Statewide baccarat win of $148.8 million increased 85.8% or $68.7 million and baccarat drop of $682.1 million decreased 3.1% or $21.8 million. Baccarat’s hold was 21.8% versus 11.4% last year. Statewide total win excluding baccarat decreased 4.1% or $47.6 million.

Nevada sportsbooks won $62.3 million, down 11.8% or $8.3 million compared to September 2022 on a hold percentage of 7.68% versus 9.28% last year.

Sportsbook wagers totaled $811.3 million, up 6.6% or $50.4 million compared to last September when $760.8 million was wagered statewide. Mobile wagers totaled $538.8 million, up 9.6% or $47.2 million and accounted for 66.4% of total wagers.