As Vegas Booms, NV Enjoys Back-To-Back Months Of $1 Billion Casino Revenue

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on June 4, 2021

Nevada is riding a hot streak after posting back-to-back $1 billion gaming revenue months.

As states begin reopening their economies and people feeling more comfortable traveling, Nevada casino gaming revenue skyrocketed after a rocky start to the year.

March Madness provided a big boost for casinos

After a year hiatus, the return of the NCAA Tournament helped the Silver State catapult over the billion-dollar mark for the first time since February 2020. Casinos on the Las Vegas Strip collected $501.4 million in March, a 67.2% increase from the same time in 2020.

Overall, casino revenue in Nevada increased 72.66% for March, potentially signaling a return to normalcy.

According to Forbes, Nevada casino revenue in March broke a record not seen in eight years.

Sports betting also flourished to the tune of $640.8 million, representing a 6.1% hold. Additionally, of the amount wagered, 60.1% of bets place were through mobile/online platforms.

One of the things hindering mobile sports betting in Nevada during COVID-19 is a law requiring mobile sports betting accounts to be set up in-person at physical casinos.

States like New Jersey and Pennsylvania allow for remote registration resulting in roughly 90% of bets being placed online or through a mobile device.

Regardless, Nevada continues to be one of the top three sports betting states in terms of handle in the US.

The top five for March 2021 were:

  1. New Jersey — $860 million
  2. Nevada — $641 million
  3. Pennsylvania — $560 million
  4. Michigan — $384 million
  5. Indiana — $317 million

Another strong month for Las Vegas casinos

Posting one strong month is good. Posting a second strong month, even better.

As Nevada rolled into April, the numbers continue to trend higher, and for the second consecutive month, gaming revenue topped $1 billion.

“In Nevada, a billion-dollar win is a bellwether number,” Michael Lawton, a senior research analyst for the Nevada Gaming Control Board, told Forbes. “We’ve only hit $1 billion in the month of April three times in our state history.”

Again casinos on the Vegas Strip brought in $483.4 million, slightly down from the $501.4 million in the previous month.

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A return to glory for Las Vegas

Regardless, the numbers are promising for a destination that was crippled by the coronavirus pandemic. Experts like Colin Mansfield, an analyst from Fitch Ratings, have said the summer is shaping up to show strength.

However, there are still a few components missing for the city to show a full recovery. According to Mansfield, Las Vegas isn’t expected to return to its peak performance until 2024.

What sectors need to be revitalized?

  • Tourism
  • Convention business
  • International Travel

According to figures from Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the percentage of people visiting Vegas is down 27%. But that didn’t stop slot machines from totaling $793.7 million in revenue, the highest in the state’s history.

The arrival of the Las Vegas Raiders will also show early dividends. Tickets for the team’s inaugural NFL season are already a hot commodity on secondary markets.

And don’t forget about shows and conventions which are slated to return this year. Several high-profile acts like Miley Cyrus and John Legend will certainly highlight a lucrative summer for Las Vegas.

Photo by Isaac Brekken / Associated Press
Nicholaus Garcia Avatar
Written by
Nicholaus Garcia

Nick has had stints in Chicago and Washington, D.C., writing about politics, financial markets, and sports betting. He graduated from Texas Tech University and completed his master's degree in journalism at Columbia College Chicago.

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