Record Sports Wagers And Lower Gambling Ages Dominate Nevada Casino Headlines

Written By Jessica Welman on February 13, 2017
casinos Nevada gambling news

[toc]It was a busy week for the Silver State with new reports, the biggest sports betting event of the season, and a new piece of legislation with potential to bring a whole new crowd to the casino floors of Las Vegas.

To help you keep up with the busy news cycle, here are all the Nevada gambling highlights from the past few days.

2016 Nevada gambling revenue comes in at $11.25 billion

The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) recently released complete numbers on gambling revenue for the previous year.

The good news is state casinos brought in an impressive $11.25 billion in gaming revenue last year. The bad news is that number is fairly static over 2015 and continues a seven-year trend of minimal growth.

One area that did not hold steady was the race and sports books. Save for football, every sport saw revenues drop last year anywhere from seven to 27 percent.

Even though gambling revenue held steady, the casino industry grew last year thanks to the increasingly prominent role of entertainment, like night clubs and restaurants, in the Las Vegas economy.

Super Bowl LI generates record number of bets

The revenue news for sports books last year was not great, but last weekend in Vegas was nothing but positive for the wagering industry.

The latest Super Bowl game between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons resulted in Nevada taking a record $138.5 million in wagers.

The wagers placed amounted to the most money in Nevada history, but the take for the casinos was in line with past years. The books profited $10.9 million.

Like Nevada gambling revenue, the numbers sound great until you put them into context. The American Gaming Association (AGA) estimates over $4 billion in illegal wagers are placed annually during the Super Bowl.

The attention being drawn to the large black market for wagering does seem to be having an impact on legislation.

Proposed laws in New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland are all considering sports betting and New Jersey continues to push the issue on the judicial front by appealing its current case to the Supreme Court.

Bill to lower gambling age to 18 proposed in Nevada Assembly

There could be more people in Vegas casinos celebrating the Super Bowl in the future if a new law passes. Assemblyman Jim Wheeler proposed a bill to lower the legal gambling age to 18.

The offering of free cocktails on most casino floors in Nevada makes implementing such a change difficult, especially on the cocktail servers.

When past bills have been proposed with the same idea, casino executives generally remain mum on the subject. This time around the Nevada Resort Association spoke out suggesting unless there is a good reason to change with a system which works well, it opposes the new bill.

Wheeler was a staunch opponent to the recreational marijuana measure in Nevada last year, but cited liberty-related reasons to justify his proposed law.

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Jessica Welman

Jessica Welman is a longtime member of the poker media. She has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and served as the managing editor for A graduate of the University of Southern California and Indiana University, Welman is not only a writer but also a producer. She has been involved for livestreams for the WSOP and WPT and worked as a consultant on many other poker productions. She can be found on Twitter @jesswelman.

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