The most recent Monthly Revenue Report from the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) shows that Silver State casinos won more than $1 billion from gamblers for the 14th consecutive month in April. Overall, the gaming win for Nevada casinos was $1.12 billion in April.
While any increase in Nevada gambling is positive, it might be the beginning of a slower growth period. In April, the gaming win increase for casinos was only 8.57% compared to the same period last year. For comparison, the year-over-year increase in gaming win for Nevada casinos in March was just over 22%.
The smaller year-over-year increase could be a sign that the great Nevada casino comeback from Covid-19 could be slowing. We won’t know for a few months but high gas prices and inflation might impact how much visitors spend on gambling in Nevada.
So far, the gaming win for the fiscal year (July 1, 2021, through April 30, 2022), has increased by 46.26%.
Vegas Strip casinos are thriving
Once again, the Vegas Strip led the way for all gaming areas in Nevada with an increase of 22.78% in gaming win. Vegas Strip casinos have seen an 81.63% increase over the prior fiscal year.
The win increase for Vegas Strip casinos offset the decrease at downtown Las Vegas casinos. The second most visited part of Las Vegas by tourists saw a decline of -11.37% in gaming win in April. Even with the double-digit decline, the downtown Las Vegas casino win is up 38.74% for the fiscal year.
All Las Vegas visitor metrics are up against 2021 according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA).
Total visitation and hotel room occupancy are both down slightly from 2019 – before the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the average daily hotel room rate in April was $177.12.
The hotel room prices in April are an increase of 35.8% compared to rates in 2019. It’s also an increase of 62.0% from 2021 when the return to “normal” was just beginning.
While all Las Vegas hotels were impacted by the increase the Vegas Strip hotels might see the bulk of the revenue bump in April. According to the most recent Las Vegas Visitor Profile, 62% of visitors stayed at a hotel on the Vegas Strip.
Nevada sports betting in April
In April $589.4 million was gambled at Nevada sportsbooks. The total win for Nevada sportsbooks was only 4.3% or $25.4 million.
The April win was a decrease of 6.87% from March. However, it’s a 23.68% increase from April last year.
For the month, 73% of the money gambled on all sports bets was from a mobile device. Casinos won just 2.5% from these bets for a total of $10.5 million.
Overall, sports betting in Nevada is still strong. However, the Siver State may appear to not be doing well when compared to larger states now offering legal sports betting.
Other states with legal sports betting around the country are seeing a monthly win percentage somewhere between 5% and 7%. Nevada casinos are lagging for a few reasons.
Long live the king?
Nevada has been seen as the sports betting capital for years. While overall revenue is strong, it could be losing some of its luster to the competition.
One reason for the smaller win percentage could be the smaller betting menus than other states. Not only are there fewer unique betting options but there are far fewer prop bets for games across the board.
It’s not rare to see an individual event at sportsbooks outside of Nevada that offer much more than 20-30 ways to bet on an individual game. The regular betting options available at sportsbooks outside of Nevada include many game derivatives, individual player props, and even same game parlays.
The higher margin betting options made available by sportsbooks outside of Nevada are helping their win percentage grow. Sportsbook operators like BetMGM offer many more ways to bet in markets outside of the Silver State.
The combination of larger pre-game and in-play betting menus is seemingly leading to Las Vegas possibly losing its grip on being the sports betting capital of America.
According to data compiled by Dave Tulley from VSiN, Nevada ranks third in states for how much money was gambled on sports in April.
How other states compare in sports betting
Illinois will likely jump ahead of Nevada when the state reports its sports betting revenue. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Pennsylvania also jump ahead of Nevada next month with the Philadelphia 76ers and Pittsburgh Penguins in the NBA and NHL playoffs, respectively.
Between fewer betting options and the reluctance to offer some types of bets (i.e. NFL Draft), Las Vegas may be on its way to becoming a historic comparison instead of a current peer for other states.
Comparing Nevada sports betting revenue with other states is not apples to apples. Nevada is a unique and mature sports betting market compared to the rest of the country.
Sports betting revenue represents a very small fraction of overall casino gaming revenue. While the majority of money gambled on sports comes from mobile devices, it could be even higher with a few tweaks to the system.
Nevada sports betting revenue may continue to rise but will likely keep falling among the ranks as sports betting grows in larger states around the country. This state is a different animal from the rest.
Vegas hot slots
Sports betting isn’t the breadwinner for Nevada casino operators. It probably never will be where Nevada casinos see all that much money.
Nevada casinos see more money from machines and table games. According to the revenue report, in April, Nevada casinos won more money from slot machines than any other game:
- Slot machines: $804,123 million
- Blackjack $94.9 million
- Baccarat $51.8 million
- Roulette $39.5 million
- Craps $33.8 million
For comparison, as previously mentioned, Nevada casinos won $25.4 million from sports betting.
The total win for casinos from baccarat could be a sign that international high rollers are returning to Las Vegas. The $51.8 million win in April is an increase of 75.85% from March.
The total number of passengers deplaning in Las Vegas in April was up 46.4% from last year and almost even compared to 2019. The latter comparison is the most useful when looking to see how Las Vegas business is doing compared to “normal times” before Covid-19.