Nevada Gambling, Tourism Numbers Grow Again In February

Written By Marc Meltzer on March 30, 2023
Las Vegas Strip casinos revenue growth

Las Vegas casino operators might be feeling a cash crunch, but that isn’t slowing down business in Nevada. Once again, the Silver State saw more than $1 billion in gaming revenue.

Similarly, Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas set another monthly record for passengers. Meanwhile, hotel room rates continue to increase.

February Nevada gaming revenue up considerably

According to the monthly revenue report from the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Nevada casinos won $1.24 billion in February. This marks an 11.15% increase over last year.

It’s also the 24th consecutive month that gaming revenue has been at least $1 billion. The two consecutive years with at least $1 billion in gaming revenue can’t be overstated.

Once again, the increase was helped by large increases in Las Vegas. Casinos on the Vegas Strip contributed more than $1 billion alone.

The $1.08 billion in gaming revenue from the Vegas Strip casino in February was an 18.92% increase over the same period a year ago.

Per the same NGCB report, gaming revenue in downtown Las Vegas increased by 7.49%. The surprise in the monthly revenue report is an 8.77% revenue increase in North Las Vegas.

Coincidentally, both sections of Las Vegas saw new neighborhood casinos open in February. It will be interesting to see if Wildfire on Fremont and Ojos Locos Sports Cantina Y Casino help with gaming revenue in downtown Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, respectively, moving forward.

The Southern Nevada gaming revenue increases offset decreases to the north. Washoe County saw a decrease in gaming revenue this February of 8.08%. This includes casinos in Reno and Lake Tahoe.

Sparks showed the only increase in Washoe county, thanks in part to Legends Bay Casino opening last summer.

Visitation to Las Vegas continues to grow

Visitation to Las Vegas has been slowly increasing since the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. While visitation is up greatly from last year, it’s still a little behind 2019 – before the pandemic.

According to a Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority monthly report, visitation to Las Vegas was 3.08 million in February. While this was 17.8% greater than the same period in 2022, it was down ‐3.4% from 2019.

Las Vegas businesses can thank the 663,400 people visiting to attend conventions in February. This was a 51.1% increase from last year.

The midweek business travelers are pushing midweek hotel room prices up. The average hotel room rate in February was $176.64. This was up 18.1% from last year and a massive 35.8% increase from 2019.

The high prices aren’t scaring away visitors. 82% of all Las Vegas hotel rooms were occupied in February.

Leisure travelers helped weekend hotel room occupancy across Las Vegas jump to 89.3%. Believe it or not, this was a modest increase of only 1.8% from last year.

According to a self-published report, Harry Reid International Airport saw more than four million passengers come and go during February. This is the first time the second month of the year saw this many passengers.

The big increase in airport traffic comes from international travelers visiting Las Vegas, in part, for Lunar New Year celebrations. International passengers increase by 125% from February last year.

Sports betting handle down, revenue up

February is usually a good month for sports betting revenue in Nevada thanks to Super Bowl wagering. The most popular game from the most well-liked sport is typically the most wagered-on event of the year in the Silver State.

This year was a bit different with the Caesars and William Hill sportsbook apps going down during the Big Game. The initial Super Bowl revenue reports were incorrect and the amount of money Nevada sportsbooks won was lower than originally reported.

The amount of money wagered in Nevada sportsbooks in February was $659.4 million. This was a 15.6% decrease from the previous year when all Nevada sportsbook apps worked without flaw.

While the handle was down, sportsbooks won more from Nevada bettors. Sportsbooks in the Silver State won a total of $43.1 million. This was good for a solid 33.5% increase from the amount Nevada sportsbooks won last year.

Despite the outage with two apps on Super Bowl Sunday, 61% of all sports bets in Nevada were placed on a mobile device. For comparison, 62% of sports bets in January were placed using a mobile device.

Photo by Shutterstock
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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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