By a Biometrica staffer
July was a bumper month for gaming in Nevada, with casinos taking a total of $1.36 billion from patrons. This was the highest single-month revenue from gaming for the state since gambling was legalized back in 1931.
The record haul was thanks in main to slot machines, the Nevada Gaming Control Board revealed. According to Casino.org slots generated more than $873.6 million, a 60% increase from the same month in the previous year.
Table games also did well, registering 131% increase for the month, year-on-year, taking in $486.2 million.
Among table games, Baccarat was the leader, bringing in $160.1 million. This was linked to the return of international travelers after the lifting of restrictions put in place by global governments to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. Traditionally, Baccarat is a favored game among visitors from Asia.
There was also a 428.6% rise in revenue from sports betting pools, bringing in $33.3 million in July, in comparison to the same month in 2019. The volume of sports betting for July was $409.9 million, ensuring that both wins and volumes bet in July were records.
July was the fifth consecutive month in which Nevada took in earnings of at least $1 billion. July broke the $1.23 billion record set in May, earlier this year.
The only time a similar streak has ever occurred before was the period spanning December 2007 to April 2008, according to Michael Lawton, a senior research analyst with the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
“July was a perfect storm for gaming win in terms of special events (at Allegiant Stadium), the month having five weekends, Resorts World’s first full month of operations, and a very unusual baccarat month (high hold and increased play from international guests),” Lawton was quoted as saying by CDC Gaming. “This, of course, is in addition to the contributing factors we have discussed in previous months, which include demand, return of leisure travel, and healthy consumers due to stimulus.”
The state’s gains were typified by the earnings of the Las Vegas Strip, which received a major boost from the opening of Resorts World Las Vegas and Allegiant Stadium.
The two venues, and a host of others on the Strip, ensured that 3.3 million patrons accessed facilities in July, a record since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
The Strip accounted for $793.7 million in gaming revenue in July, a 46.5% increase from July 2019, when it was $541.8 million.
The July records were set before a government regulation came into place that mandated the compulsory wearing of masks at gaming locations, but operators believe that this will not significantly affect earnings in August and going forward.
The record high in July does not come as too much of a surprise as trackers had predicted that 2021 would be a good year for gaming.
It was the easing of Covid-19 related restrictions, rising vaccination rates, an increasingly optimistic economic outlook, and, of course, pent-up consumer demand that helped the casino industry, American Gaming Association (AGA) said on Aug. 10, when it published its latest Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker.
Only recently, when data came in from across the country for revenues for April–June 2021, Biometrica reported that 17 of 25 states showed a rise in traditional gaming revenues for Q2 2021.
Particularly significant gains were made in New Orleans, which also enjoyed a prosperous July, with revenue at gambling establishments hitting $52.1 million, an increase of nearly 46% when compared to the same period last year.
Granted, the comparisons with last year were relatively easy given occupancy was capped at 50% in July 2020 during the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, so as to stem the spread of the disease. The capacity restrictions have since been eased.
Even so, revenue numbers coming out of the casino and gaming industry this year have largely been strong, despite the renewed surge in Covid-19 cases, mostly of the more contagious delta variant. This shows that there is, probably, headroom for more growth ahead, depending on how the pandemic pans out.