Nevada Casino Revenue Hits Record High in May, Reaching $1.32 Billion

Nevada casino revenue hitting a record
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Nevada casinos generated a record gross gaming revenue (GGR) of $1.32 billion in May, marking the best May ever for the Silver State’s gaming industry. This milestone came after a brief dip in March, when GGR fell almost 2% year-over-year, prompting concerns about a potential slowdown. However, the industry rebounded strongly in April and May.

Compared with May 2023, the GGR for May 2024 increased by 2.5%, setting a new record for the month. April also showed robust performance with a revenue increase of almost 7%, reaching $1.24 billion.

Breakdown of the Revenue Surge

Table games and sports betting were significant contributors to the increased revenue. Combined, they generated $434.3 million, reflecting a roughly 6% improvement from May 2023. Slot machines also performed well, with a 1% increase in hold, bringing in $886.1 million.

Sportsbooks kept $36 million of the $514.4 million wagered on college and professional sports, representing a 20% surge from May 2023.

Las Vegas Strip Leads the Way

Nevada’s gaming industry heavily relies on Las Vegas and the Strip, which generated $742.5 million in GGR last month, a 3.7% increase from the same period last year. A strong event calendar and the return of major conventions and exhibitions were credited for this impressive performance.

Michael Lawton, the NGCB’s senior economic analyst, highlighted that major concerts from Justin Timberlake, The Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam, and ongoing residencies from Adele, Garth Brooks, and Carrie Underwood kept Southern Nevada bustling. Additionally, significant conventions like WasteExpo, International Spa Association Conference, ABC Kids Expo, RECon 2024, and the start of JCK Las Vegas contributed to the strong results.

Harry Reid International Airport also set a new traffic record for May, facilitating over 5.2 million arriving and departing passengers, a 5.2% increase from May 2023. International passenger counts surged by 22% year-over-year to about 351,400 travelers, while domestic traffic climbed over 4% to 4.8 million flyers.

Sustained Success Amid Economic Concerns

May 2024 marked the 39th consecutive month in which Nevada’s GGR surpassed $1 billion. Before this unprecedented run, Nevada’s longest streak of 10-digit GGR was eight months, from October 2006 through May 2007.

Despite the post-pandemic momentum, March saw the first year-over-year GGR decline in eight months. Gaming analysts have cautioned investors about a potential slowdown, although April and May’s performances returned the monthly year-over-year GGR to positive territory.

Deutsche Bank analyst Carlo Santarelli pointed out the consistent strength of the high-end segment, particularly baccarat, which has significantly contributed to positive GGR comparisons over the past year. “The one constant has been the high-end strength, which is best evidenced by the baccarat segment, which has essentially carried GGR to positive comps over the last 12 months,” he wrote in April. However, he warned that this segment might have reached a plateau and could decline, potentially exposing underlying stagnation in the market.

In May, baccarat GGR fell by 5.5% to $126.4 million with a 16% hold rate. Baccarat volumes decreased from a year ago, as May 2023’s baccarat win totaled $133.8 million with a nearly identical hold rate.

Conclusion

Nevada’s casino industry continues to show resilience and growth, reaching new heights with a record $1.32 billion in GGR for May 2024. The strong performance of table games, sports betting, and significant events on the Las Vegas Strip contributed to this success. While there are concerns about potential market stagnation, particularly in the high-end segment, the state’s gaming sector remains robust and optimistic.