Strip casinos propel state to highest-ever gaming revenue in June – The Nevada Independent – The Nevada Independent | Hot Mobile Press

Nevada casinos recorded their 16th straight month of over $1 billion in gaming revenue in June, the fifth-highest total ever for a single month in the state.

Without the streak, the monthly revenue report provided by the Gaming Control Board on Thursday would have been a different story.

Without the Strip, statewide gaming revenue would have declined 7.5 percent in June, instead of showing the 8.1 percent increase for a total of $1.27 billion. Several Clark County markets, including downtown Las Vegas, Laughlin and the Boulder Strip, reported double-digit sales declines in June.

Most of the major markets in northern Nevada, including Washoe County, Reno, Sparks and South Lake Tahoe, also reported a drop in gaming revenue during the month.

Casino areas in Las Vegas off the Strip that serve residents all reported declines in June.

“The majority of submarkets in Clark County, in addition to several submarkets outside of Clark County, continue to face difficult year-to-year comparisons,” said Michael Lawton, the Control Board’s senior economic analyst, in an email analysis of the results.

“Growth is slowing down as expected compared to calendar year 2021,” he said.

Still, gaming revenue grew 19.8 percent nationwide in the first six months of 2022, compared to a record $13.4 billion in revenue in 2021. Lawton said only two markets — Sparks and South Lake Tahoe — were down for the first six months of 2022 compared to a year ago.

In June, all Nevada reporting markets except North Las Vegas and Laughlin recorded gaming totals that exceeded the pre-pandemic revenue reported in June 2019. Two North Las Vegas casinos, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station, have closed permanently, and Colorado Belle in Laughlin has been closed for 29 months.

Strip game revenue of nearly $734.8 million was up 22.7 percent from a year ago and 19.2 percent from June 2019.

The sum was fueled by the baccarat game, which grossed $141.1 million, up 258.8 percent from a year ago. Casinos held 22.1 percent of all baccarat bets, compared to 6.4 percent a year ago. Slot revenue on the Strip was $380.3 million, up 4.6 percent.

“June marked the ninth time in the last year that Las Vegas set an all-time monthly record for gaming revenue, and (the Strip) is now 19 percent above its highest pre-pandemic period in history,” wrote Jordan Bender, gaming analyst at JMP Securities issued a research note Thursday.

The highest total the Strip has ever raked in in June helped Clark County to more than $1.1 billion in gaming revenue, the ninth time in the last 16 months that the market has surpassed $1 billion .

Lawton noted that the Strip benefited from strong travel demand in June, with visitor numbers up 12 percent from a year earlier. Harry Reid International Airport recorded its busiest month ever, with nearly 4.7 million passengers. The Strip venues also hosted several concerts throughout the month, boosting attendance.

During Boyd Gaming’s second-quarter earnings conference call on Tuesday, CEO Keith Smith said California customers continued to visit the 10 Las Vegas-area casinos between April and June despite high gas prices.

“We really haven’t seen a significant change in the business for our California properties,” Smith said in response to an analyst question on the matter. “It’s moving a little, but it’s not significant. It’s something we’re watching.”

Reid Airport breaks its passenger record

After narrowly missing out on breaking the all-time month-long passenger record in May, Harry Reid International Airport surpassed that number in June. The destination saw more than 4.68 million air travelers during the month, a 23 percent increase from June 2021 and surpassing the previous record of 4.61 million passengers set in October 2019.

The facility missed the all-time record by about 32,000 passengers in May, according to the Clark County Air Department.

However, Chris Jones, the airport’s marketing director, suggested that June’s record total could be surpassed in the coming months as airlines increase the number of flights to and from Las Vegas.

According to airline statistics, there were more than 5.3 million available seats to and from Reid Airport in June. That number is expected to top 5.7 million in both July and August. By October the number of available airfields for the month could be close to 6 million.

“We’re absolutely not done yet,” Jones said, noting that low-cost airline Breeze began operating in several cities in June, while other airlines — including top three carriers from Reid, Southwest, Spirit and Frontier — have operated flights to and from newly added markets.

Southwest had more than 1.6 million passengers at Reid in June, up 17.6 percent from a year earlier. In the first six months of the year, Southwest saw nearly 8.5 million passengers at Reid, an increase of 50.7 percent.

As of June, Reid Airport’s passenger traffic totaled nearly 24.3 million, a 52.5 percent increase from 2021. However, Jones said the Las Vegas airport’s one-year record of 51.5 million passengers in 2019 could last until the end of the year because the numbers in January and February were somewhat diminished because of the Omicron variant.

International air travelers boosted the airport in June with a volume of 244,033 passengers from non-US destinations. This was the airport’s largest total in 27 months, and the segment saw a 357 percent increase from June 2021.

International travel has all but disappeared over the past two years during the pandemic and Reid Airport has seen flights between 18 destinations over the month.

Gini Cueva dealing cards on Wednesday, July 20, 2022 at the Railroad Pass Casino on US 95 in Henderson. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent)

Visitor numbers in Las Vegas are increasing

More than 3.3 million visitors came to Las Vegas last month, a 12 percent increase from June 2021. However, the total number still fell short of the pre-COVID 2019 figure of 3, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. 6 million visitors back.

Through June, Las Vegas attendance is 37.8 percent higher than the 2021 total, but still down 12.2 percent from 2019.

Occupancy hit 82.7 percent in June, including 90 percent on weekends — both year-over-year increases — despite the market having about 3,500 more hotel rooms available. In total, Las Vegas had 151,523 hotel rooms and suites at the end of June.

Kevin Bagger, LVCVA’s vice president of research, said the figure reflects the additions of Virgin Hotels Las Vegas and Resorts World Las Vegas, which launched a year ago.

Bagger noted that weekend occupancy marked the fourth straight month that Las Vegas hotels were at or above 90 percent.

The convention business recorded 469,100 participants in June, a 138 percent increase over the previous year. The LVCVA said attendance for the first six months of 2022 is nearly 2.5 million, up 515 percent from 2021 but still down 30 percent from 2019.

Sports bets are rejected

Sports betting in Nevada saw its first drop in betting stakes in nine months in June. Sports betting totaled $490.3 million, down 10.1 percent year-on-year. The last decline was in August 2021.

Sports bets placed on mobile apps totaled $329.7 million in June, accounting for more than 67 percent of total revenue.

Sportsbook reported revenue of $23.8 million in June, down 18.3 percent year-on-year.

A record for the 2022 financial year

The governing body also released gaming revenue figures for fiscal year 2022 (July 2021 to June 2022), and as expected, the results broke 15-year records.

The nationwide total of $14.6 billion was up 37.3 percent from fiscal 2021’s $10.6 billion and broke fiscal 2007’s record of $12.7 billion. The first half of fiscal 2022 accounted for $7.37 billion of the total, slightly more than nearly $7.25 billion in the second half.

Clark County nearly matched fiscal 2007’s figure with $12.6 billion in gaming revenue in fiscal 2022, largely due to the $8.1 billion contribution from the Strip.

Eleven of the state’s 18 major submarkets, including Clark County, the Strip and downtown Las Vegas, set records for fiscal year gaming revenue.

(Updated at 11:38 am on 07/28/2022 with tourism numbers from Las Vegas.)

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