Once again, the Nevada Gaming Control Board is reporting that casinos throughout the state collected more than $1 billion from gaming in April. This is a record gaming revenue total for the month of April in Nevada.
April was the 26th consecutive month that Nevada casinos took in more than $1 billion.
The billion-dollar win is only the fifth time Nevada casinos have crossed this milestone in the month of April. Unsurprisingly, three of the five occurrences have occurred since 2021.
Downtown Vegas casinos saw higher percentage increase than Strip casinos
Nevada online gambling is limited to poker, as online casinos are still prohibited in in the state. With casinos regularly winning more than $1 billion every month, it might be time to allow online casinos, which would only add to most casinos’ profits.
Altogether, Nevada casinos collected $1.2 billion in winnings from bettors in Nevada during April. It was a small 2.8% increase over a year ago.
Once again, Vegas Strip casinos led the way with $624.7 million in gaming revenue for the month. It was a 5.2% increase from a year ago.
Overall gaming revenue on the Vegas Strip may be larger, but downtown Las Vegas casinos saw a bigger increase by percentage. Downtown Las Vegas casinos had $74.5 million in revenue, which was good for a 10.6% increase from last year.
Parts of Northern Nevada didn’t fare so well. Northern Lake Tahoe gaming revenue was down 18.18% in April, thanks, in part, to The Tahoe Biltmore closing last April. Southern Lake Tahoe saw a larger 26.05% decline in gaming revenue compared to last year.
So far this calendar year, Nevada gaming revenue is up 6.6% from a year ago. Vegas Strip casino revenue is up 10.7% for the first four months of the year compared to 2022.
Why Vegas Strip gaming revenue continues to increase
There continue to be two major reasons why Vegas Strip casinos are seeing such a healthy increase in gaming revenue over the past two years.
Table game minimums are higher than ever at these casinos. For example, blackjack games on the main casino floor at Aria during the day on Memorial Day weekend were between $100 and $1,000. Carny games like Three Card Poker had a minimum bet of $25.
Table game minimum bets during holiday weekends are always higher than normal. And the Aria isn’t alone with high table game limits. Properties like Wynn and The Venetian rarely, if ever, have a blackjack game with a minimum bet lower than $25.
Additionally, the majority of casinos on the Vegas Strip are almost exclusively dealing 6:5 blackjack games instead of the traditional 3:2 game.
The increased house edge for all of these games makes it more difficult for players to hold onto their money. When players lose, casinos win.
Sports and entertainment continue to drive Las Vegas visitation and gaming revenue. Numerous concerts and residencies helped boost the area. Meanwhile, the Vegas Golden Knights’ playoff push has brought locals and tourists to the Vegas Strip.
Las Vegas visitation up slightly in April
While Vegas Strip gaming revenue was up more than 5% in April, Las Vegas saw 3.4 million visitors for the month. This is only a 0.1% increase from last year, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
The flat visitation for the month led to a 3.3% decrease in hotel room prices for the month. The average hotel room rate in Las Vegas was $171.05 in April.
Downtown Las Vegas hotel room prices saw a 10.8% decrease in April to $92.17. Vegas Strip hotel rooms were down just 2.6% to $182.76.
Nevada slots far outpace table games in revenue
April was a fairly normal month for gaming revenue in Nevada. The typical games topped remained atop the tote board.
As usual, slot machines were the big winner for the casinos with $837.9 million. The rest of the top five money makers for Nevada casinos were all table games:
- Blackjack: $94.9 million
- Baccarat: $44.1 million
- Craps: $40.6 million
- Roulette: $34.3 million
Sports betting revenue fell just outside of the top five with a win of $32.4 million for Nevada casinos. While not the biggest revenue generator for casinos, it was 27.8% higher than last year.
Nevada casinos held 5.4% of all money wagered on sports in April. While this is low compared to the rest of the US, it’s up from 4.4% last year.
There was $395.2 million wagered on Nevada sports betting apps in April. This was down 7% from last year. Mobile sports betting accounted for 66.1% of wagers placed at Nevada sportsbooks for the month.
Nevada sports betting hasn’t changed all that much over the past five years. The percentage of money casinos win from bettors hasn’t either. This is one of the few benefits of stagnation in technology and betting options for Nevada sports bettors.