Nevada casinos’ gaming win down 3.2 percent in July

Review Journal
Nevada casinos’ gaming win down 3.2 percent in July

It’s easy to assume the market is weakening after a Tuesday report stated July’s gaming win was down from a year ago.

Not so fast.

While win from the state’s 434 casinos last month was down 3.2 percent year over year to $1.36 billion, it was still the fourth-best month in history for the state. It also continued the streak of 17 consecutive months in excess of $1 billion won by Nevada casinos, the Nevada Gaming Control Board reported.

“Demand for gaming still remains strong, customers continue to display resiliency and leisure travel continues to benefit from a very jam-packed event calendar,” said Michael Lawton, the Control Board’s senior economic analyst.

“July 2021 set a very high bar in terms of gaming win and although this month’s results decreased year over year, July 2022’s gaming win represented the fourth highest total all-time,” Lawton said. “The Strip’s gaming win was the second highest total ever recorded, second only to July of last year. When looking at overall gaming activity, this month’s wagering totals for slots and games was $15.1 billion, which was the fourth highest total ever recorded.”

Tough comparisons

The tough comparison was evident in most Southern Nevada submarkets.

Downtown Las Vegas gaming win was down 15.6 percent to $60 million compared with a year ago and North Las Vegas fell 4 percent to $24.6 million.

The Strip was down 2.4 percent to $773.4 million, Clark County was down 3.3 percent to $1.12 billion and outlying Clark County declined 6.6 percent to $135.6 million.

The Boulder Strip, which includes some portions of Henderson, was up 3.6 percent to $72.7 million. Laughlin and Mesquite were flat at $42.8 million and $14.2 million, respectively.

North Lake Tahoe had the biggest market tumble statewide, falling 17.2 percent to $2.8 million and Washoe County, which includes Reno and Sparks, was down 5.3 percent to $94.8 million.

But Elko County, which includes Wendover, was up 5.1 percent to $36 million.

Lawton again attributed Clark County’s strong showing to a robust calendar of special events.

UFC 276 was held at T-Mobile Arena July 2 with the main event featuring Israel Adesanya fighting Jared Cannonier. The Chelsea Football Club defeated Club America on July 16 at Allegiant Stadium. On July 22 and 23, the home of the Las Vegas Raiders also hosted the inaugural Soccer Champions Tour, which featured matches between Juventus F.C. and CD Guadalajara in addition to FC Barcelona vs. Real Madrid. Usher began his “My Way” residency at the Park MGM on July 20.

While the July calendar had one more weekend date than July 2021, the shift in dates resulted in some revenue being counted later, gaming industry analysts said.

“The Las Vegas Locals calendar comparison was unfavorable — July ended on a Sunday, so slot win for Saturday and Sunday will be pushed from July into August,” said Joe Greff, analyst with J.P. Morgan.

But analysts concurred that July was a good month.

“Las Vegas Locals gross gaming revenue of $233 million for the month of July was down 3.3 percent year over year,” said Carlo Santarelli of Deutsche Bank. “Compared to 2019, July Las Vegas Locals gross gaming revenue was up 9.8 percent.”

The calendar shift wreaked havoc with revenue comparisons in slot machines, table games, baccarat and sports wagering, Lawton said.

Slot win, play down

The state’s slot machines won $839.6 million from players, down 3.9 percent from a year ago. The $12.1 billion gamblers put into slot machines was down $133.7 million or 1.1 percent.

Table game win of $476.4 million decreased 1.9 percent but game drop — the amount wagered — increased 1.2 percent to $3 billion from July 2021.

Baccarat win of $138 million decreased by 13.4 percent, but drop increased 3.1 percent to $833.7 million. Some of the decline can be explained by the hold percentage of 16.56 percent this year compared with 19.71 percent last year.

Baccarat is the game of choice for many international high rollers.

Nevada sportsbooks won $16.2 million, down 51.3 percent compared with July 2021, Lawton said, due to a hold percentage of 3.87 percent this year versus 8.12 percent last year. Sportsbook wagers totaled $419.4 million, up 2.3 percent from last year.

Sports wagers made with mobile apps won $14.5 million, up 6.3 percent from a year ago, on $273.6 million in wagers, up 13.1 percent, with a hold of 5.3 percent. That amount accounted for 65.2 percent of all sports bets.

Nevada had the third-highest sports betting handle in the nation, trailing New York and New Jersey.

[email protected] or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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