As reported by the Nevada Gaming Control Board on Thursday, state casinos have recorded their 14th straight month of at least $1 billion in gaming revenue during April, shattering the former record revenue for the month. However, figures show this is the first time in more than a year the numbers have stalled at a one-digit increase.
Casinos statewide collected almost $1.13 billion in gaming revenue last month, with more than 85% of the total coming from Clark County. This represents an 8.6% growth in contrast with April 2021. In comparison, in March, Nevada casinos saw a nearly 23% gaming revenue increase.
Gaming revenue for the first four months of the year has risen by 28.4% when compared to the first four months of 2021. Statewide gaming revenue broke records in 2021 with $13.4 billion, and more than $7 billion on the Strip.
While gaming venues have managed thus far to continue the $1 billion+ momentum, analysts cited by The Nevada Independent have shown concerns Nevada could now enter a slow-growth phase attributed to high consumer costs associated with rising inflation, impacting the casino industry’s post-pandemic recovery.
Clark County and the Strip drove the statewide results last month. The former collected $960.4 million in revenue, which represents an 11% increase compared to 2021; while the latter saw $593.4 million in winnings, 22.8% higher in a year-over-year comparison. The Strip accounted for more than 52% of the state’s mark. Both markets shattered their top revenue records for the month in April.
However, several state markets had notable declines. Downtown Las Vegas casinos saw an 11.4% drop and the Boulder Strip reported a 10.3% drop. Washoe County also saw a decline of 2.4%, and South Lake Tahoe went down 15% to $18.5 million. Reno, on the other hand, was the only market in the region with a gaming revenue increase of less than 1%, which translated into a $62.2 million win.
Gaming Control Board Senior Economic Analyst Michael Lawton explained that, during April, there was an increase in international visitation which aided the Strip’s results for the month, and pointed out that in 2021 the pace of recovery for Strip casinos trailed the rest of Nevada, The Independent reported. However, he also stated that the Strip will “begin to face very difficult comparisons over the next several months.”
Last month’s event calendar in Las Vegas also impacted its numbers, as it had Korean pop band BTS playing live for four nights, a return of the National Association of Broadcasters convention, and the NFL Draft at the end of the month.
In terms of tourism, Las Vegas saw just under 3.4 million visitors in April, 31.4% more than a year ago, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. The figure was 4.4% less than in pre-pandemic April 2019. Las Vegas hosted 377,400 conventions and trade show attendees in April, which is 29% below April 2019. Hotel occupancy on the Strip was 84%, an 18.4% increase from a year ago.
Direct airline service between seven countries and Harry Reid International Airport during April was 200,113 passengers, the highest single-month total in 25 months. The airport reported more than 4.25 million arriving and departing passengers last month, just below the 4.27 million passengers in March. The number of international visitors to Las Vegas has been ticking upward since November, when pandemic-related travel restrictions on flights from Europe were lifted.
Sports betting & slot play
In terms of sports betting and slot play, Nevada sportsbooks saw a 7% decline in revenue last month, reaching $25.4 million. Total wagers grew 27.2% to $582.6 million. Almost 73% of all sports wagers were made on mobile sports wagering apps.
When it comes to slot machine revenue, the total went up to $804.1 million, an increase of 1.4% from a year ago. Gamblers wagered more than $11.8 billion on slot machines during the month, representing a rise of 6.3%.