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February Was A Big Month For Las Vegas Visitation, Casino Gaming And Hotels

Written By Marc Meltzer on April 2, 2024
Super Bowl Signage At Bellagio Fountains

There was little doubt that February would be a big month for Las Vegas casinos. Thanks to the leap year, there was an extra day for casinos to generate revenue from the casinos and hotel rooms.

As usual, international visitors visited Las Vegas to celebrate the Lunar New Year at their favorite casino.

In addition to the extra day, expectations were higher than usual as Las Vegas hosted the Super Bowl for the first time. This brought fans, media, players, and more visitors to Las Vegas – and specifically to the Vegas Strip.

Visitation to Las Vegas was up and that translated into higher gaming revenue and record-breaking hotel room prices.

This is similar to Nov. 2023 when the Las Vegas Grand Prix resulted in a big month for Las Vegas casinos.

Vegas Strip helps Nevada set gaming revenue record for February

It’s no surprise that Nevada casinos set a record for February gaming revenue, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB).

While the gaming revenue for the state was up 8.5%, the Vegas Strip was up 12.4% as it was the epicenter of non-game Super Bowl activities. Casinos on the Vegas Strip won just over $800 million. Last year these casinos collected $712 million.

The extra day, Super Bowl, and Lunar New Year may have been the main catalysts for the increase in gaming revenue but Fontainebleau contributed gaming revenue in February for the first time.

Vegas Strip casinos led the way for gaming revenue in Clark County. Gaming revenue in the county was up a lucky 8.88% to $1.17 billion of the $1.3 billion collected by casinos throughout the state.

The Vegas Strip is the straw that stirred the February drink in gaming revenue in Nevada. Downtown Las Vegas saw a small increase of 2.7% in gaming revenue.

The “Balance of County” in Clark consists of casinos away from the main tourist corridor. Gaming revenue in this area was up 7.37% thanks, in part, to the Durango Casino. Business has been so good at the off-strip casino that its parent company is already considering expanding.

Breaking down Las Vegas gaming revenue in February

The increase in Vegas Strip gaming revenue in February came from traditional table games. While visitors were hitting the tables they were staying away from the machines.

Table game revenue on the Vegas Strip was up more than 30%. Meanwhile, slot machine revenue was down 2.39%.

February was a rare month where slot machine revenue was lower than the same period in the previous year. Revenue for every slot machine denomination was lower than Feb. 2023.

The only machines that saw greater revenue were multi-denomination games. This includes all bartop games. It’s not a stretch to imagine football fans sidling up to a bar having a brew while playing slots, keno, or video poker.

Revenue from baccarat saw the largest increase for Vegas Strip casinos for the month. These casinos also won more money from baccarat than any other table game.

Vegas Strip baccarat revenue was up 81.85% to $180 million. Blackjack generated the second-most revenue at these casinos with $107.8 million.

The increase in blackjack revenue was almost 21% higher than last February. However, the increase in craps revenue was just behind the baccarat with a 33.42% boost compared to a year ago.

It’s no surprise that sports betting revenue was up for Vegas Strip casinos with the Super Bowl being played at nearby Allegiant Stadium. Vegas Strip sports betting revenue was up almost 10% to $24 million.

Altogether, Nevada casinos throughout the state won $47.9 million from sports betting in February. That was an increase of 16% from last year. The Super Bowl set a record for Nevada casinos.

Hotel occupancy and prices were through the roof

The Super Bowl and Lunar New Year get most of the attention when it comes to the busy February in Las Vegas but there was another reason. There were also numerous conventions throughout the month.

Las Vegas saw 3.37 million visitors in February. This was a 9.5% increase from last year.

Between all of the events, hotel room occupancy was up 1.7% to 83.9%. The February increase is notable since there were more hotel rooms available with the addition of Fontainebleau.

Demand for hotel rooms sent prices soaring in February. The average daily room rate (ADR) for the month was up a whopping 40.6% to $248.35.

Like gaming revenue, the Vegas Strip was responsible for the hotel room price increase. The ADR for Vegas Strip hotels was up 43.1% to $269.37.

For comparison, the ADR for downtown Las Vegas hotels was up only 9.2% to $104.01. That’s a healthy increase but not nearly as large as the Vegas Strip hotel rates.

Photo by AP Photo/John Locher
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Marc Meltzer

Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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