Strip leads Nevada gaming win in August

September 29, 2022 1:46 PM

Strip leads Nevada gaming win in August

Photo: Shutterstock
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports
September 29, 2022 1:46 PM
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports
  • Nevada
  • Other

Led by the ongoing strength of the Las Vegas Strip, Nevada surpassed $1 billion in revenue for the 18th consecutive month, while casinos that cater to Las Vegas residents held steady.

Nevada’s casinos reported $1.2 billion in gaming win in August, a 3.53% increase compared to August 2021 when it was $1.16 billion.

The $659.7 million in revenue on the Strip rose 5.1% over August 2021’s $627 million. That’s 26.7% higher than August 2019 prior to the pandemic, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Strip revenues contrast with properties that cater to local residents; some analysts have suggested that locals might be feeling more of the effects of inflation and economic slowdown than tourists. Those revenues were flat in August, up 0.01% to $250.2 million, but still 41.3% higher than August 2019, according to Deutsche Bank.

The state’s combined markets outside of the Strip increased 1.6% or $8.5 million year over year, ending a streak of four consecutive decreases between April and July, according to the Gaming Control Board. Only Laughlin, down 12.2% year over year to $36 million and the Boulder Strip, down 2.9%, reported declines in Clark County.

Downtown Las Vegas held steady with a 0.57% increase to $64.5 million. That’s 42.5% higher than August 2019. North Las Vegas recorded a 0.13% increase, while Mesquite increased by 9.4%.

“The majority of the state’s growth for the month was the result of the Las Vegas Strip’s sustained record levels of gaming win,” said Michael Lawton, a senior economic analyst with the state. “For the month, the Strip’s win grew by 5.2% or $32.7 million over August 2021 and continued to benefit from a strong event calendar and steady improvement in visitation metrics due to increased passenger totals at Harry Reid International Airport.”

The airport reported 4.64 million passengers in August, a 22% increase over August 2021’s 3.8 million. The all-time record, 4.86 million, was set in July. The air-travel gains were aided by nearly 250,000 international travelers, more than double the nearly 80,000 passengers in August 2021.

Lawton cited Katy Perry’s residency returning to Resorts World in August, plus the Red Hot Chili Peppers played at Allegiant Stadium on August 6, followed by the iconic Mexican grupera Band, Los Bukis, on August 12 and the Weeknd on August 20. The Killers performed at T-Mobile Arena on August 26.

As for locals casinos, Lawton said it’s difficult to compare year over year because August 2021 was 41.2% higher than August 2019. August 2022 had one less weekend day than 2021.

“To come in flat against that difficult of a number is impressive,” Lawton said. “These combined markets have recorded decreases for the last four months (April–July) and we are witnessing moderating growth rates compared to historic levels of gaming win, which I think should be expected. The win amounts are still fairly consistent and don’t reflect any softening through the first eight months of the calendar year, as they’re up 3.1% against the all-time record recorded in 2021.”

Washoe County, led by Reno and Sparks, reported $92.5 million in revenue, a 2.29% increase over August 2021. The newest casino in the Reno area, Legends Bay at the Sparks Marina, didn’t open until August 30.

North Lake Tahoe reported an 18.5% increase. South Lake Tahoe reported a 26.8% increase to $29.9 million.

In August, statewide slot win of $847.1 million increased $20.7 million, up 2.5%, and coin-in of $11.5 billion was up $605.3 million or 5.5%, Lawton said.

Table, counter, and card games’ win of $361.4 million increased $20.5 million (6%) and games’ drop of $2.4 billion increased 1.6% from August 2021, Lawton said.

Baccarat win of $96.7 million increased 3.9% and baccarat drop of $624.8 million increased 0.9%. Baccarat’s hold percentage was 15.48%, versus 15.03% last year.

Nevada sportsbooks won $16.1 million, up 12.0% compared to August 2021 due to a hold percentage of 3.93% versus 3.35% last year. Sportsbook wagers totaled $408.7 million, down 4.4% compared to August 2021.

Sports wagers made with mobile apps won $9.9 million (up 14.8%) on $292.9 million in wagers (down 1.3%), holding 3.4%. This amount accounted for 71.7% of total wagers, according to Lawton.

In its analysis released Thursday morning, Deutsche Bank reported that hold didn’t play a meaningful role in the Strip or locals performances. It said July 31 being a Sunday did benefit the August comparisons for both the Strip and locals markets, relative to the comparisons in July, which were hampered by the calendar accounting.

For the month, Strip slot handle was up 11.2% year over year, while table volumes were up 4.2% (+5.4% excluding baccarat). Strip slot revenue of $381.2 million was up 5.9% year over year, as hold was down about 40 basis points to 8.2%, which compares to the LTM average hold of 8.2%, according to Deutsche Bank.

Strip table revenue, excluding baccarat, was $186.4 million, an increase of 5.8% year over year. Drop increased 5.4% year over year, while hold was up about 10 basis points to 15.7%, which compares to the LTM average hold of 14.8%, Deutsche Bank reported.

Baccarat volumes were up 1.8% and revenue increased 1.2% year over year, as baccarat hold of 15.3% was down about 10 basis points. The 15.3% baccarat hold compares to the LTM average hold of 14.8%, Deutsche Bank reported.

Overall, August Strip table revenue of $270.9 million (excluding poker) was up 4.4% year over year, as drop was up 4.2% and table hold of 15.2% was up about 5 basis points. The 15.2% table hold compares to the LTM average hold of 14%.

Locals’ slot revenue of $216.1 million was down 1% year over year, as hold was down about 5 basis points, while handle decreased 0.2% year over year. Table revenue of $34.1 million was up 7.3% year over year, as drop was down 1.4% and hold of 14.5% was up about 120 basis points, Deutsche Bank reported.

August visitation reached nearly 3.2 million visitors, up 6.4% year over year, but 10.9% below the August 2019 volume, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Convention attendance continues to rebound, with 406,500 in August, 20.5% higher than August 2021, but again, below 2019 by a substantial 38.2%.

Overall hotel occupancy reached 76.8%, four points ahead of last August, but down 10.9 points versus August 2019. Surpassing 90% for the sixth straight month, weekend occupancy reached 90.1% (up 3% year over year), but down 5.1% from August 2019. Midweek occupancy came in at 72.2%, up 4.4% year over year, but down 11.9% versus August 2019.

The trend of strong average daily room rates continued into August, exceeding $148, which is 5.5% ahead of August 2021 and 22.4% above August 2019. Revenue per available room neared $114 for August, 11.3% year over year and 7.2% over August 2019.