Gambling in Nevada is back at full force post-pandemic. The state collected $1.23 billion in gaming revenue in May, up by 25.3% from May 2019 and breaking the previous record of $1.16 billion, set 14 years ago in 2007.
May was the third month in a row with revenue over $1 billion. For the fiscal year, the state is up 8% compared to 2019. That’s an astonishing turnaround from 2020, which was 34.6% down from 2019. On top of that, restrictions were still in place until June 1st.
Numbers for Las Vegas are even better. The Strip casinos reported a 26.7% increase from the pre-pandemic numbers. This is a significant increase from April, which was only up by 0.3%, while March was down by 10%.
The Strip’s slot machines reported $358.3 million in revenue, up by 24.5%, and hitting the all-time record. Baccarat revenue reached $105.9 million, a 97% increase from 2019. The casinos held more than 22% of the baccarat wagers, compared to 7.7% in 2019.
Even downtown Vegas’ casinos, which cater primarily to locals, are up by 21% year-to-date compared to 2019. For May alone, the area was up by unbelievable 37.2%
The Nevada Gaming Commission expects June to be similar, or even better, given that restrictions were lifted on June 1st. Year-to-date, Nevada’s revenue is down 1.3% compared to 2019, in which the state collected $12 billion.
Moreover, many casinos have been able to return to 100% occupancy. If June collects more than $1 billion, it will be the fourth month in a row, something not achieved since December 2007–April 2008.
May was also a record month for sports betting in Nevada. Sportsbooks took in $477.4 in bets, up by 50.4%, and holding revenue was $27.1 million, up by 140%.
Mobile bets accounted for 62%, slightly lower than the global average of 70% in 2020. That tells us that more people are heading back to physical casinos to place their bets.
There are areas where Nevada is still not where it was in 2019. International travel is still very restricted, and not many international tourists have visited the state. Trade shows, hotel occupancy, and concerts have not reached the 2019 levels either.