Nevada Gaming Revenue Continues To Break Records In July

Written By Marc Meltzer on August 31, 2023
Las Vegas casinos led the state with another record month for Nevada casinos in July.

Gaming revenue at Nevada casinos continues to break records. July marks the 29th consecutive month that Nevada casinos have won more than $1 billion.

According to the monthly gaming revenue report from the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB), the 439 licensed Nevada casinos won $1.4 billion from players in July. That’s a 6.69% increase from last year, when Silver State casinos collected slightly more than $1.3 billion.

The record-breaking gaming revenue for July is more impressive as Nevada has fewer licensed casinos reporting revenue. Last July, 14 more casinos reported revenue.

Southern Nevada shows massive increase

Surprisingly, Nevada gambling outlets only collect money from brick-and-mortar casinos across the state. Nevada online casinos are prohibited, as is a lottery, but online sports betting and online poker are available in the state.

The monthly revenue report from the NGCB shows that Clark County casinos accounted for the majority of Nevada gaming revenue. These casinos in the southern Nevada region collected $1.207 billion for the month. This is a 7.5% increase from July 2022.

The Vegas Strip also broke a monthly record for gaming revenue. Casinos on the main tourist corridor alone were good for $834 million of Nevada’s July gaming revenue.

The 7.95% increase in revenue at Vegas Strip casinos compared to last year was almost as large of an increase as downtown Las Vegas casinos. Gaming revenue in “Old Vegas” casinos increased 8.91% to $65.3 million in July.

Baccarat up, sports betting down

One of the reasons for July’s record-breaking gaming revenue is a large increase in how much casinos won from baccarat. Nevada casinos saw $193,314 million in baccarat revenue in July. This is a massive 40.5% increase from July 2022.

Baccarat was the top revenue generator for Nevada table games. Blackjack was the second-highest table game revenue generator for Nevada casinos.

As usual, slot machines led the way for gaming revenue in Nevada. The $890,849 million in slot machine revenue was the third-highest total for any month in Nevada.

Nevada online gambling is limited to a single poker room since all other online casino games are prohibited in The Silver State.

Meanwhile, Vegas Strip casinos won more money from slot machines than any single month on record.

Sports betting was a mixed bag for Nevada casinos. Bettors wagered $408.2 million on sports in July. This is down 2.7% from the same month last year.

The lower handle at Nevada sportsbooks was offset by a 6.2% hold on all wagers made in July. The increase in hold led to an enormous 55.7% increase in revenue to $25.3 million.

Around 65.7% of all sports wagers were placed via mobile devices. It will be interesting to see how the new Caesars Sports and William Hill Nevada sports betting apps change this.

Las Vegas visitation up slightly

Vegas Strip gaming revenue was helped by a small increase in visitation. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority (LVCVA), 3.57 million people visited Las Vegas in July.

The 1% increase over last year wasn’t big on its own merit. However, it helped spur hotels to their highest July occupancy since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Las Vegas hotel occupancy was 85.2% in July. This was a 1.8% increase over the same period last year.

The increase in occupancy was almost matched by the increase in the average daily hotel room rate (ADR). Las Vegas hotel room rates throughout the area averaged $163.14 in July. This was a 1.7% increase from a year ago.

July hotel room rates went in opposite directions for the Vegas Strip and downtown Las Vegas properties. The ADR for Vegas Strip hotels was up 1.8% to $173.49 per night. Downtown Las Vegas casinos saw a 4% dip in ADR to $91.29 per night.

Most Vegas Strip revenue does not come from gambling

Casinos around the US have different business models. However, casinos and resorts on the Vegas Strip are an outlier for most casino regions.

For almost 25 years, more money was spent on non-gaming segments of Vegas Strip casinos annually than on gambling. According to the UNLV Center For Gaming Research, only 37.2% of Vegas Strip casino revenue in 2022 came from gambling.

This is a return to normal for these casinos. In 2019, just 34.4% of Vegas Strip casino revenue came from gambling.

There was a spike in Vegas Strip gaming revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bars and restaurants had reduced capacity while many shows went dark for a while.

Last year, 62.8% of Vegas Strip casino revenue was derived from outside of gaming. Hotel rooms led the way for non-gaming revenue at 27.3% of earnings. Food and beverage revenue combined for 22.3% of revenue. The rest came from other outlets at the properties.

Most Vegas Strip gaming revenue still comes from slots

When we look at overall gaming revenue, it’s helpful to remember that these percentages are less than 40% of the income for Vegas Strip casinos.

Much like they do on a monthly basis, slot machine revenue led the way for overall Vegas Strip gaming revenue last year. Slots accounted for 57.3% of all Vegas Strip gaming revenue in 2022.

Table games were good for another 38.9% of Vegas Strip gaming revenue last year. Together, the games that occupy the most space on casino floors, table games and slot machines, comprised 96.2% of all gaming revenue at Vegas Strip casinos.

Sports betting at Vegas Strip casinos only made up 1.2% of all revenue last year. For reference, sports betting revenue last year was 1.2% of the 37.2% of overall casino revenue on the Vegas Strip.

It’s not all doom and gloom for Vegas Strip sports betting revenue. Sports have a larger impact on overall casino revenue.

Public casino revenue reports don’t go deep into the numbers, but sportsbooks help contribute to food and beverage revenue at nearby bars and restaurants. Additionally, football games and March Madness watch events are so important to the bottom line that they’re a part of casino marketing plans months in advance of the events.

Sports betting revenue in Nevada continues to grow. However, it’s still just a small part of overall gaming revenue in The Silver State.

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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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