Nevada and Strip gaming revenue totals smash 2021 records in just 11 months
Nevada’s single-year gaming revenue record didn’t even last a full year.
The Gaming Control Board said Thursday that casinos statewide collected more than $1.2 billion from gamblers in November, which put the state’s overall total for 2022 at $13.5 billion – roughly $100 million more than 2021’s record $13.4 billion.
With one month left to report in 2022, Nevada casinos are almost certainly headed for a $14 billion revenue year.
Michael Lawton, the control board’s chief economic analyst, said every major gaming market in the state is up in the calendar year to date through November.
Strip casinos took in nearly $669.5 million in gaming revenue in November, giving the state’s largest casino market more than $7.5 billion through the year’s first 11 months, topping last year’s 12-month record of nearly $7.1 billion.
“Overall, Strip fundamentals remained consistent,” Wells Fargo Securities gaming analyst Daniel Politzer wrote in a research note.
November marked the 21st consecutive month that Nevada casinos topped $1 billion or more in gaming revenue.
However, nearly every reporting market in the state recorded significant declines compared to November 2021. The state’s overall total was a 7.6 percent drop from more than $1.3 billion at that time last year. Strip casinos collected 11.3 percent less than the $755 million collected in November 2021.
Lawton said the gaming revenue figures collected a year ago were the third-highest single-month totals on record for the state and Strip.
November was just the second time in the last 21 months that statewide gaming revenue showed a decline, with the previous dip taking place in July.
Still, Lawton said statewide gaming revenue figures continued to exceed pre-pandemic totals. Statewide gaming revenue saw a 30.2 percent increase compared to November 2019, while Strip casino revenue was up 45.8 percent.
Just two gaming markets in Nevada – Sparks, because of the opening in August of Legends Bay Casino, and South Lake Tahoe – had single-digit increases in November.
Among the state’s other markets headed toward single-year records, downtown Las Vegas casinos have recorded $811.4 million in gaming revenue in 11 months, up 5.6 percent; casinos in the Las Vegas locals markets have a combined $2.7 billion through November, up 2.8 percent; and Reno casinos are at $684.7 million, up 1.8 percent with one month left in the year.
Las Vegas visitor volume increases
Las Vegas visitation in November benefited from several concerts and sporting events at Allegiant Stadium and T-Mobile Arena in November, as well as the opening of British singer Adele’s Strip residency at Caesars Palace.
The special events helped Las Vegas visitor volume increase by 4.9 percent to more than 3.26 million in November, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. However, the monthly figure still trailed November 2019’s pre-pandemic total by 7 percent.
Through November, Las Vegas visitor volume sits at more than 35.5 million, 21.5 percent ahead of 2021’s 11-month total, but trailing 2019 by 9.1 percent.
Overall hotel occupancy was 81.2 percent in November, a 3.6 percent increase from November 2021. Weekend occupancy was 89.6 percent.
The average daily room rate was nearly $187, up 19.6 percent from a year ago and up more than 38 percent from November 2019. The total followed October’s $210 average daily room rate, which was the highest ever recorded in Las Vegas.
Truist Securities gaming analyst Barry Jonas said in a research note Thursday that many Strip resorts are already sold out during various conventions and special events in the first three months of 2023.
“Available room rates look very healthy against a weak Omicron-impacted first quarter of 2022,” Jonas wrote. He said the Strip’s average room rates are trending up 105 percent from a year ago for both January’s Consumer Electronics Show and the Con/Agg Expo concrete trade show in March.
Reid Airport nears a record year
Passenger volume at Harry Reid International Airport was closing in on its single-year record following the totals produced in November. Still, disruption caused by Southwest Airlines this week could upend that effort.
The airport reported 4.56 million passengers in November, giving the destination nearly 48.3 million travelers through the first 11 months of 2022. Reid’s single-year passenger volume record is 51.5 million, set in 2019. The 11-month total is already the fourth-highest one-year total for the airport, according to spokesman Joe Rajchel.
“The way this year has been trending, December could very well make 2022 the busiest year in the airport’s history,” he said.
However, Southwest – Reid Airport’s busiest air carrier – accounted for more than 50 percent of all canceled flights to and from Las Vegas since Christmas. Southwest handles more than 35 percent of all Reid Airport passengers.
Rajchel said it was too early to determine how Southwest’s issues affected the December numbers.
Southwest serviced more than 1.5 million Reid Airport passengers in November and almost 16.7 million passengers through the first 11 months of 2022. Southwest flew more than 18 million Reid Airport passengers in 2017 and 2018 before falling to 17.3 million in pre-pandemic 2019.
International passenger volume was almost 238,000 in November, giving that airport more than 2.3 million international travelers through the first 11 months of 2022. The airport’s international passenger record was more than 3.8 million and was set in 2019.
Reid Airport had direct service to and from 17 international destinations in November.
It could have been worse for sportsbooks
Nevada sportsbooks saw $34.3 million in revenue in November — a 47.7 percent decline — as the hold percentage on wagers dropped by more than 2 percent during the month.
The state’s sports betting industry avoided a near disaster from the $75 million payout collected by Houston furniture store owner Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, who made several futures bets on the Houston Astros winning the World Series. BetMGM’s operations in Nevada were on the hook for just $10 million of the overall payout when the underdog team won, with sportsbooks in other states providing the bulk of the winnings.
Overall, Nevada sportsbooks took in $928.2 million in wagers in November, down 14.5 percent from the $1.1 billion wagered last November – the second-highest figure ever bet by Nevada sportsbook customers in a single month.
Mobile sports wagers accounted for 69.2 percent of all sports bets.
(Updated at 5:28 p.m. on 12/29/2022 with Las Vegas visitation figures for November.)