High Rollers Help Boost Vegas Strip With Flat Visitation In October

Written By Marc Meltzer on December 8, 2023
Runners Stream Southward On Las Vegas Boulevard

Nevada had another record-breaking month of gaming revenue in October. Casinos throughout the Silver State collected $1.3 billion, according to the monthly revenue report from the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB).

This was a 2.69% increase compared to October 2022. It was also the 32nd consecutive month that Nevada casinos won more than $1 billion in gaming. This was also the most revenue Nevada casinos won in October.

As usual, Clark County accounted for the majority of gaming revenue in Nevada. Multiple Las Vegas casino districts reported solid to major increases in gaming revenue for the month.

Las Vegas gaming revenue continues to rise

Clark County gaming revenue increased by 2.94% in October to $1.13 billion. All but one section of the county showed an increase.

Casinos on the Vegas Strip had $714.4 million in gaming revenue. This was a modest 1.23% increase from October last year when the casinos collected $705.8 million.

In October, downtown Las Vegas casinos set a record for gaming revenue. “Old Vegas” casinos won $97.5 million. This was a huge increase in revenue of 7.8% over 2022.

Casinos on the Boulder Strip, Laughlin, and Mesquite all saw revenue increases over last year.

Vegas Strip table games up while slot machines dip

The Vegas Strip is a unique gaming area in the country and even in Las Vegas. The players and visitors to the main tourist corridor are different than everywhere else.

October’s gaming revenue report from the NGCB highlights the differences between high-rolling tourists and neighborhood gamblers. So far this year, Vegas Strip casinos are 5.4% of last year when they generated a record $8.2 billion in revenue.

As usual, slot machine play led the way in gaming revenue for the Vegas Strip with $406 million. However, this was a dip from 2022 revenue by 1.05%.

Penny slots clocked in for $112.7 million in revenue for the month. Once again this was the most of any slot machine denomination.

October 2023 gaming revenue for the Vegas Strip would have been down if it wasn’t for a huge 43% increase in baccarat revenue. The high-roller favorite generated a total of $89.7 million and was one of the few games in the area to show an increase in revenue for the month.

Baccarat led the way for table game revenue on the Vegas Strip. This was followed closely by blackjack. Vegas Strip casinos won $87 million from players in 21 during October.

Craps, roulette, and sports betting round out the top five non-machine revenue generators for Vegas Strip casinos. It should come as no surprise that revenue from football betting led the way for Vegas Strip sportsbooks.

Las Vegas visitation essentially fell flat in October

Harry Reid International Airport reported a record number of passengers in October. Just under 5.5 million people passed through the airport.

International travelers in the airport increased by almost 30% in October. This will be a key number when November data is published.

Anecdotally, international visitors were supposed to power Las Vegas casinos during the Las Vegas Grand Prix (LVGP). MGM Resorts didn’t pinpoint where visitors came from when the company said it had record-breaking hotel revenue during the F1 race.

According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, visitation saw a small 0.2% dip from October 2022. This was less than 10,000 fewer visitors than in October of 2022.

Construction of the LVGP circuit doesn’t seem to have had much of an impact on visitation in October. Visitation likely fell in October this year because there was one fewer weekend than last year.

In addition to residencies, visitors flocked to Las Vegas to see Ed Sheeran, Pink, and the When We Were Young music festival. Sports fans enjoyed the Fall NASCAR race, two Raiders home games, and more.

Convention attendance continued to rise in October. For the month the work-related visitors were up 2% to 640,600.

While hotel room occupancy was flat, the average daily rate in Las Vegas increased by 11.1% to $233.22.

Gaming revenue and visitation data for November will be released by the end of the month. It will be interesting to see the impact of the F1 race on all of this data.

Photo by Julie Jacobson, File / AP Photo
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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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