Nevada casinos managed to win more than $1 billion on their gaming floors last month to keep the 10-digit streak alive, and November’s results delivered a new annual gaming revenue record. But November otherwise presented little to celebrate.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) reported Thursday that November gross gaming revenue (GGR) from the state’s more than 300 licensed gaming facilities totaled $1.22 billion. It marks the 21st consecutive month that Nevada gaming eclipsed the $1 billion mark.
Pent-up demand from the pandemic was thought to have fueled the state’s initial $1B+ monthly gaming run. The state’s previous longest $1 billion or more monthly gaming streak lasted just eight months from October 2006 through May 2007.
The US has adjusted to the new “normal” of living with COVID-19 and gaming analysts have long expected a slowing in Nevada gaming revenue, but until November, it largely hadn’t come.
The good news is that despite GGR declining almost 8% year over year, gaming remained robust across the state compared with pre-pandemic numbers. November 2019 statewide GGR totaled $937.5 million — 30% below last month.
The Las Vegas Strip, the most important metered market in Nevada, was responsible for the November downturn. Strip GGR tumbled more than 11% to $669.5 million.
Baccarat on the main drag plummeted 37% to $57.7 million, while blackjack was 26% lower at $72.9 million. Oddsmakers also struggled, as they won just $10.5 million — a 64% year-over-year drop. Slots offset some of the losses on the felt and through sports betting, with the terminals winning $416.2 million — a 2% premium.
Though November gaming slowed compared to a year ago, statewide GGR over the past 12 months remains up more than 13%. More difficult comparisons were expected to deliver less stellar monthly gaming reports in terms of year-over-year performance, said Michael Lawton, the NGCB’s senior economic analyst.
November 2021 represented a very difficult comparison for the state and the Strip with $1.3 billion and $755.1 million in total win respectively,” Lawton commented. “But through the first 11 months of the calendar year, every major market in the state is up calendar-year-to-date through November.”
Only three metered markets experienced year-over-year GGR increases last month — Sparks, South Lake Tahoe, and Wendover.
New Annual Record
With a month to go, Nevada has already set a new annual GGR record. Fresh off its record-setting performance in 2021 when state casinos combined to win $13.4 billion, gaming through 11 months in 2022 has eclipsed that mark.
Data from the NGCB shows that 2022 GGR from January through November totaled more than $13.5 billion.
December 2021 GGR totaled $1.15 billion. If casinos win around that amount this month, the state’s 2022 full-year revenue will be in the neighborhood of $14.7 billion.
Before the pandemic, Nevada’s all-time best GGR year came ahead of the Great Recession in 2007 when casinos won just shy of $12.85 billion. With inflation factored in, the $12.85 billion lost by gamblers in 2007 would equate to about $18.45 billion in 2022 dollars.
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