Nevada casinos hit a single-month gaming win high in May, beating the previous record from October 2007. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Casinos steadily rebounding
Casinos in Nevada generated a record monthly gaming win of $1.23bn in May, indicating a continued recovery of the region’s gambling and tourism industries. The figures released by the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) on Wednesday beat the previous single-month record gaming win of $1.165bn from October 2007.
gaming revenue bypassing $1bn for three consecutive months
Nevada casinos have been doing well as of late, with gaming revenue bypassing $1bn for three consecutive months. The record gaming revenue in May came ahead of Nevada’s lifting of most of the remaining capacity and crowd restrictions on June 1. The majority of casinos were back to operating at 100% throughout May.
About 2.9 million people visited Las Vegas during the month, an increase of 12% from April. The weekend occupancy rate for hotels was at 88% over the weekends. Both hotel occupancy and visitor rates were still below pre-pandemic levels.
Key reasons for the successful month
NGCB senior analyst Michael Lawton spoke about how the record casino win in May was driven by slot revenues hitting new highs on the Las Vegas Strip at $358.3m. Baccarat revenue was also robust, with Strip casinos earning $105.9m off the game in May. This represents about one-third of the Strip’s $297.2m total table game win.
In all, Las Vegas Strip casinos won $655.5m in May, a 27% increase from May 2019 levels. Sportsbooks across the state generated total handle of $477.4m, a 50% rise from two years ago. Their take-home revenue from this handle was $27.1m.
state government benefited from the strong month of gaming revenue by taking in $107m
Each of the 20 markets that the control board monitors saw increases from 2019 figures. Speaking about these results, Lawton said they can be “attributed to strong demand, healthy consumers and leisure travel beginning to rebound.” The state government benefited from the strong month of gaming revenue by taking in $107m worth of tax revenue.
Nevada returning to normality
For the year to date, the Nevada gaming win is only 1.3% lower than for the same period in 2019. Casinos have been working hard at vaccinating employees and making sure that proper health and safety protocols are in place ahead of their return to full occupancy.
The NGCB has warned that restrictions will come back into place if the COVID-19 situation starts to worsen again.
The gaming sector is ramping up its recruitment drive to meet increasing demand. In May, 10,200 new jobs were added in Nevada. The effort resulted in a 7.8% unemployment rate, down nearly 69% year-on-year.