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Las Vegas Visitation Was Up, But Gaming Revenue Dipped In January

Written By Marc Meltzer on March 1, 2024
People walking the Las Vegas Convention Center During CES 2024

3.3 million people visited Las Vegas in January. While this was a small increase from last year, many visitors were in Las Vegas for a convention. The thing about business travelers is that they don’t spend much money on the casino floor.

As a whole, Nevada gaming revenue for January 2024 was up less than one percent for the month, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB). The small increase to $1.27 billion was still good for record gaming revenue for the Silver State.

There was a different story in Clark County and the Vegas Strip where business travelers stay when in Las Vegas for conventions. Gaming revenue in both segments fell in January.

This was the first time gaming revenue on the Vegas Strip fell since June 2023.

Don’t feel too sorry for Las Vegas casinos. The dip in gaming revenue won’t hurt too much. Non-gaming spending for Vegas Strip casinos in 2023 accounted for nearly ¾ of revenue.

Further, February is set up to be a huge month for all businesses in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas gaming revenue in January 2024

Clark County’s gaming revenue in January was $1.1 billion. This was 1.08% less than the same period last year when casinos won $1.12 billion.

The Vegas Strip saw the largest decrease in the county. The $686 million win in January was 3.79% less than a year ago.

Compared to last January, Vegas Strip casinos won less money from all table games except for baccarat. Casinos won 7.37% more than last January from the game preferred by high rollers.

Revenue from sports betting at Vegas Strip casinos was 35.41% higher than last January thanks to a huge increase in the amount of money won from football. Casino win from football wagers was 52.34% compared to last January.

Downtown Las Vegas saw a small increase of 0.96% to $85.7 million in gaming revenue for the month.

Las Vegas visitation was up 3.3% in January

Overall visitation to Las Vegas in January 2024 was up 3.3% from last January to 3.38 million, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority. 557,200 visitors were attending a convention or trade show like CES or SHOT. This was an increase of 8.6% from last year.

Convention visitation continues to return to pre-pandemic levels. CES says more than 135,000 people were in Las Vegas for the expo and show. This is an increase of 15% according to the electronics trade organization.

There were 4,500 more hotel rooms in Las Vegas in January than last year with the grand opening of Fontainebleau and the newly opened luxury casino, Durango. Increased visitation means hotel occupancy only fell by 0.2% from Jan. 2023.

The average daily room rate (ADR) also fell 0.2% to $191.23 during the month. Room prices stayed high since hotel occupancy from midweek convention visitors increased by 1.8% while occupancy from weekend vacationers dropped by 4.8%.

February gaming outlook is strong for Vegas

When visitation data are released there could be some big numbers across the board. Las Vegas hosted Super Bowl LVIII.

The first “Big Game” in Las Vegas attracted fans and corporations to Las Vegas. The combination could prove to be a record-breaker for some Las Vegas casino operators. There was more money wagered on Super Bowl LVIII in Nevada than ever before.

In January, Bill Hornbuckle CEO of MGM Resorts said ADRs for Super Bowl weekend were around $1,000. He also said the weekend was: “three of the top five room revenue days ever recorded and near-record event gaming volumes.”

In addition to the Super Bowl, Las Vegas hosted a slew of international visitors in February visiting for the Lunar New Year. These guests tend to be high rollers who prefer baccarat to other casino games.

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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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