Posted on: March 28, 2023, 01:45h.
Last updated on: March 28, 2023, 01:56h.
Nevada casinos in February continued their unprecedented run of winning at least $1 billion off gamblers. Last month’s statewide gaming haul of more than $1.23 billion marked the 24th consecutive month that gross gaming revenue (GGR) eclipsed the $1 billion mark.
Las Vegas revelers have fun on Fremont Street in February 2023. Nevada casinos have won more than $1 billion off of gamblers in each of the past 24 months. (Image: Getty)
Before February 2021, Nevada casinos had never won a minimum of $1 billion in more than eight consecutive months, which was experienced back in October 2006 through May 2007. Michael Lawton, the senior economic analyst for the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB), said $1 billion a month in net casino win is the new norm for the world’s richest gaming jurisdiction.
I think after 24 consecutive months you could safely say it is,” Lawton said about the historic win streak.
The state’s $1.23 billion February GGR represented a more than 11% year-over-year increase, and was 22% richer than pre-pandemic February 2019 when the state casinos won $1.01 billion.
Viva Las Vegas
Clark County, home to Las Vegas, has singlehandedly topped the 10-digit plateau in 10 consecutive months, and for 17 out of the past 24 months. The county won $1.07 billion in February, a nearly 14% improvement from February 2022.
The Las Vegas Strip, the most important segment in Clark County and the state gaming industry, reported February 2023 GGR of about $712.5 million. That was almost 19% stronger than a year ago.
Lawton said many are now waiting to see if the Strip itself can top the $1 billion mark. The drag came closest in December when GGR on S. Las Vegas Blvd. topped $814.1 million.
“I think there is interest if the Strip on its own could hit the billion-dollar amount,” Lawton said of the momentum.
High inflation, a rattled stock market, and a sense of global unease due to China and Russia strengthening their relationship while the US defends Ukraine present an array of uncertainty for the world’s economic outlook. But despite the many uncertainties, Nevada casinos have shown no signs of business slowing or deteriorating.
Obviously, there is a lot of economic uncertainty, however, that uncertainty has not spilled over into the record gaming win amounts we have witnessed over the last two years,” Lawton explained.
A slowdown could be on the horizon, however. Reservation management platform SevenRooms helps many leading casino operators handle their resort bookings. The company’s client list includes MGM Resorts, Wynn Resorts, and The Cosmopolitan.
SevenRooms this week cautioned that US travel and leisure bookings are trending downward. No-shows and cancelations have also increased recently, the firm said.
The return of major conventions and exhibitions has rendered Harry Reid International Airport extremely busy in recent months.
Las Vegas’ primary commercial air hub reported record passengers last month, as nearly 4.2 million travelers were processed. February 2023 was 25% busier than February 2022.
China’s lifting of “zero-COVID” has allowed mainlanders to once again travel internationally. LAS airport officials said international counts more than doubled last month, with the terminal facilitating travel for about 203K foreign passengers.
Domestic travel continues to rebound, too. Harry Reid International facilitated 3.9 million domestic passengers in February, a 22.5% year-over-year gain.