Nevada Gaming Revenue Down Slightly In May While Las Vegas Visitation Up

Written By Marc Meltzer on June 29, 2023
Nevada casinos saw a slight decline in revenue in May.

Nevada gaming revenue in May fell slightly, while visitation to Las Vegas was a bit higher than last year. Don’t be surprised to see a similar pattern between gaming revenue and visitation moving forward this year.

According to the May gaming revenue report from the Nevada Gaming Control Board, casinos across the state won $1.29 billion. It’s a 0.84% decrease from the same month in 2022. It’s also the 27th consecutive month where casinos won more than $1 billion from gamblers.

Meanwhile, visitation to Las Vegas continues to increase as convention business takes off. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, 3.49 million people visited Las Vegas in May. The 1.5% increase from last year was helped by a 16.1% increase in convention and festival attendance.

Current state of Nevada gaming revenue

All casino revenue comes from tribal or commercial casinos in the state. Nevada online gambling is limited to online poker and sports betting. Online casinos are still prohibited in The Silver State.

Nevada gaming fell less than 1% in May compared to the same month last year. This is the second time Nevada casinos won less than they did during the same period last year.

Casinos in Nevada either broke records for gaming revenue or came close to it each month during the second half of last year. Looking ahead, Nevada casino revenue may remain solid, but it’s possible it will be lower than last year.

While the dips don’t look great, this isn’t entirely bad news. Gaming revenue for the state in May was still the eighth-best month ever.

Additionally, with one month remaining in Nevada’s fiscal year, gaming revenue is up 3.8% for the state and up 5.4% on the Vegas Strip.

May gaming revenue by market

Revenue for casinos in Clark County was $1.1 billion in May. This was down 1.02% compared to last year. It’s a slightly larger dip compared to the state overall.

Vegas Strip casino revenue was down 2.12% to $716 million. Revenue at downtown Las Vegas casinos saw a larger 6.60% drop to $73.65 million.

Northern Nevada casinos in Reno and Sparks both saw increases in revenue of 5.18% and 8.94%, respectively. South Lake Tahoe showed the largest improvement in the area, with gaming revenue up 11.27% for the month.

Biggest winners for casinos in May

Nevada gamblers are fairly consistent when it comes to what games they play. Slot machine revenue, which includes video poker and keno, is always atop the gaming revenue list.

Nevada casinos collected $877.9 million from slot machines in May. This was a slight increase of 0.8% compared to last year. Penny slots accounted for $285.9 million of the total slot machine revenue in May.

Revenue from table games was down for the most popular games. Casinos won $104.8 million from blackjack in May. This was a decrease of 2.7% compared to last year.

Casinos won $133.8 million from baccarat, $36.4 million from craps and $30.3 million from roulette.

Slot machines weren’t the only casino game to show an improvement compared to 2022.

Casinos won $30.1 million from Nevada sports betting. This was 11.4% better than last year. Nevada sportsbooks held 5.7% of all wagers compared to 4.8% last year.

Las Vegas visitation was up in May

Nearly 3.5 million people visited Las Vegas in May. The 1.5% increase from last year was due in part to a heavy entertainment calendar as well as an increase in those visiting for a convention or meeting.

There were music festivals nearly every weekend in Las Vegas during the month. The Electric Daisy Carnival led the way with more than 500,000 in attendance for the electronic dance music festival at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway from May 19-21.

According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, 453,900 of the May visitors were in Las Vegas for a convention. This was a 16.1% increase compared to 2022.

Thanks to the increase in visitors, hotel occupancy was better than last year. More than 84% of Las Vegas hotel rooms were occupied in May. This was 1.8% better than last year.

While midweek occupancy was greater by percentage (2%) compared to last year, hotels were nearly full on the weekends. According to the report, 93.2% of Las Vegas hotel rooms were occupied during May weekends.

When hotels are busy, room rates usually increase. That was the case in May. The average daily hotel room rate was $154.79 in May. Hotel rooms on the Vegas Strip averaged $169.35 for the month. Both were more than 4% higher than last May.

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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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