[toc]After some lackluster numbers to end 2016, the gaming industry in Nevada bounced back big time in January.
The state took in just over $1 billion in gambling revenue last month.
The take represents a 12 percent increase from January 2016 numbers. It also helped boost the fiscal year numbers growth to 3.81 percent.
Downtown and North Vegas surge, Reno struggles
Both areas saw year-over-year growth of more than 25 percent. North Vegas gaming revenue was up from $22.7 million to $28.7 million and Downtown saw revenue grow more than any other region in the state from $42 million to $55 million.
The Las Vegas Strip saw an uptick of 14 percent as well, bringing overall Clark County gaming revenue to $926 million compared with $810 million in 2016.
Most areas in the state held steady or saw growth. The major exception was Washoe County, which is home to Reno and Lake Tahoe.
North Lake Tahoe saw a huge dip of almost 30 percent from $2.4 million to just $1.7 million. South Lake Tahoe fared better with just a ten percent dip.
Reno also saw numbers on the decline, bringing Washoe County’s total revenue drop to $54.6 million compared with $58.8 million last year.
Trends and takeaways
The Las Vegas Review-Journal looked at what might be helping the Downtown Vegas business boom recently.
Using the El Cortez as a case study, the article pointed to more free drink promotions, lower stakes of table games, and offering frequent events on property helped bolster casino profits and grow the audience of non-locals coming to the facilities.
“We have definitely seen a growth along that Millenial demographic and we have tried to work alongside them to keep them inside a little bit longer, to make them feel more welcome here and make them feel more comfortable alongside our core customer.”
The larger growth is good news for Nevada, but not earth shattering. A billion dollar take is nothing to sneer at, but it is not record-breaking. The current record is $1.165 billion taken in during October of 2007.
“This was obviously a strong month for Clark County but not any kind of record,” Michael Lawton, senior research analyst for the Gaming Control Board’s Tax and License Division, told the Review-Journal.
It is a good sign for the Silver State after a slow December. With the exception of Washoe County, it was a good month and the 35th time in state history gambling generated more than ten figures worth of revenue.