F1 race fueled record gaming win in November 2023

Review Journal
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Clark County reported a record $1.215 billion in gaming win for November, the Nevada Gaming Control Board reported Thursday.

The high total was 14.3 percent more than November 2022 and was largely due to the inaugural appearance of the Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix Nov. 16-18. It’s likely to fuel the debate over the benefits of the race that disrupted traffic for months and blocked access to dozens of small businesses and restaurants along the Strip.

The county’s success resulted in a statewide gaming win record for November of $1.374 billion, which was the second highest month of all time.

“The four-day period beginning on Nov. 16 was extremely profitable for both gaming and non-gaming activity on the Las Vegas Strip with some properties estimating those days established all-time record levels of revenue,” said Michael Lawton, the Control Board’s senior economic analyst who crunches the gaming numbers for the state.

Baccarat — the game of choice for wealthy European race fans attending the Las Vegas event — was a major contributor to the Strip having its second-best month ever, with $821 million in win, a 22.6 percent increase over November 2022.

“The event’s success was more evident at luxury properties where the Las Vegas Strip’s baccarat increase accounted for 78.6 percent of the state’s growth this month,” Lawton said. “Additionally, the 25 licensees that are included in the $72 million-or-over revenue range for annual gross gaming win on the Las Vegas Strip increased by $160 million or 25.8 percent compared to last November and accounted for over 100 percent of the state’s entire increase for the month.”

Statewide and on the Strip, November was only the second-best month in history.

July still the best

Those records are still held by July 2023, with $1.404 billion and $834.9 million, respectively.

July, with 31 days in the month, traditionally is one of the strongest months of the year for gaming. In July 2023, the Strip benefitted from the highest baccarat hold percentage since June 2003, 23.9 percent. That month also had two additional weekend days.

July 2023 was the best gaming win month ever, with July 2021 No. 4 all time and July 2022 No. 5 all time.

The Las Vegas Grand Prix wasn’t the only special Strip event generating traffic.

U2 continued its residency at the Sphere and Usher had multiple performances at Dolby Live inside Park MGM in November. The Las Vegas Raiders had three home dates in November with games Nov. 5, 12 and 26.

The Strip wasn’t the only market to have a good November.

The statewide total win excluding the Strip increased by 0.3 percent and for the calendar year to date, total win is up 0.6 percent or $38.3 million excluding the Strip.

Other Southern Nevada markets offered a mixed bag in November. Downtown Las Vegas, Laughlin and the Boulder Strip were down 1.9 percent, 2.5 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively, while North Las Vegas and Mesquite were flat.

South Lake Tahoe and North Lake Tahoe were down 8 percent and 8.2 percent, respectively, from last November.

Gaming taxes

Gaming tax collections had its second-best month of the fiscal year with $85.4 million added to the state’s general fund as of Tuesday as a result of the 6.75 percent tax on gaming. That brings the six-month level of tax collections to $499.5 million for the first half of the fiscal year, a 3.2 percent increase over the 2022-23 fiscal year.

For the first 11 months of calendar year 2023, Strip gaming win is up 7 percent from a year ago.

While baccarat play led the way on the Strip, other casino games had high performances.

Baccarat win of $181.4 million was up 209.1 percent from a year ago with the drop — the amount wagered — increasing 88.9 percent to $959.1 million. The baccarat hold percentage was 18.9 percent in November compared with 11.6 percent in November 2022. Total gaming win on the Strip excluding baccarat increased 2.6 percent, or $30.7 million.

Strip table games won $410.1 million, the third-highest all time, increasing by 61.9 percent, The table-game drop totaled $2.7 billion, increasing by 39.5 percent. November ended a streak of six consecutive decreases in drop for table games on the Strip and the games hold percentage was 15 percent compared with 12.9 percent last year.

Strip slot win totaled $410.9 million, a decrease of 1.3 percent from 2022. Coin-in totaled nearly $5 billion, an increase of 0.9 percent. November was the fourth consecutive month of Strip slot-win declines. Prior to August, Strip slot win last decreased in July 2022, but November also ended consecutive decreases in slot volume.

Nevada sportsbooks won $41 million, up 8.8 percent from November 2022 with a hold percentage of 4.5 percent compared with 4.1 percent last year. Sportsbook wagers totaled $921.9 million, down 0.7 percent from a year ago.

Mobile wagers totaled $625 million, down 2.7 percent, and accounted for 67.8 percent of total wagers.