By Dan Behringer for LVSportsBiz.com
What a difference two years make.
Two years ago, with Nevada casinos closed due to the coronavirus, the Nevada Gaming Control Board announced a statewide gambling payout of just $5.8 million for May 2020. The numbers were the lowest reported since 1983.
But new figures released Thursday show a dramatic turnaround for casinos in the state with gambling winnings totaling $1.3 billion – a 5.7% increase from the $1.2 billion reported for May 2021. .
Gambling payout, sometimes referred to as gross gambling revenue, is the amount casinos earn from gambling before fees and expenses. It is widely regarded as a reliable barometer of the health of the casino industry.
May 2022 earnings were particularly impressive on the Las Vegas Strip, which recorded a gain of $732 million, up 11.6% from $655 million earned in May 2021. -city earned nearly $79 million, up about 5.3% from $75 million in May 2021.
“This month’s total payout represents the highest total gambling payout ever for the state and the Las Vegas Strip,” Michael Lawton, senior economic analyst for the Control Board’s administrative division, said in a statement. E-mail.
“Gambling winnings on the Las Vegas Strip benefited from special events and baccarat win amounts,” he said. “Additionally, the Strip has been boosted by strong travel demand which saw Harry Reid International Airport record its third busiest month ever in May 2022.”
Lawton noted that the baccarat win of $131.5 million was up $25.6 million or 24%. Baccarat’s decline of $770.8 million increased by $283.5 million or 62%. However, the baccarat winning percentage was 17% compared to 22% a year ago.
Lawton noted that the state has recorded 15 consecutive months of gambling winnings that exceed $1 billion. He attributed this to several factors, including a steady demand for gaming-related activities by customers with established savings thanks to the government’s economic stimulus.
“Additionally, the state continues to benefit from the growth in leisure travel due to several iconic special events that occurred during the first five months of the year. Some of these events included the NFL Pro Bowl, the NHL All-Star Game, NCAA College Basketball Tournaments, NASCAR Weekend … and multiple concerts at venues across Las Vegas,” Lawton said in the email.
While the Strip and Downtown Las Vegas fared well, other areas of Clark County lagged slightly:
— North Las Vegas, down 5.1%.
— Laughlin, down almost 3%.
– The Boulder Strip was down about 0.50%, Mesquite was down a fraction and the “county balance” was down about 1.5%.
Across Nevada, other regions were also down in May.
– Washoe County was down 4.8%.
– South Lake Tahoe was down 13.7%.
But Elko County grew 8.6% and the Carson Valley area 1.4%.
Lawton said comparisons will become more difficult and he expects growth rates to slow for the rest of the year.
Notably, gambling winnings for the fiscal year that ended May 31 increased by 41%.
Lawton further noted that travel demand was unaffected by higher gasoline prices “although some weakness in certain market segments was noted primarily on the low end.
“In the short term, the historic rise in gas prices has not been correlated with the decline in gross gaming revenue as consumers have been able to spend thanks to the higher prices. However, we understand that if these prices maintain, demand may come under pressure,” he said in the email.
Gasoline prices in Las Vegas averaged about $5.49 a gallon on June 30, according to the AAA’s Fuel Gauge report.