Las Vegas Casinos Bounce Back in June, Gaming Revenue Skyrockets Nearly 18 Percent

Posted on: July 30, 2019, 09:53h. 

Last updated on: July 30, 2019, 09:53h.

Las Vegas casinos came roaring back in June, as the Strip properties won more than $616.5 million last month.

Las Vegas casinos GGR revenue
Las Vegas casinos were busy in June, and that fueled higher gaming revenues. (Image: Danny Mahoney/Forbes)

The month represented a 17.7 percent gross gaming revenue (GGR) increase on June 2018. Baccarat play finally turned in the house’s favor, with the table game keeping $156.6 million for the casinos. That’s a 117 percent year-over-year premium.

June marked a critical turnaround for the Strip after six consecutive months of GGR declines. Penny slot machines won $118.5 million – a 21 percent increase. The strong report came despite blackjack win being down 13 percent to $68.7 million.

The state as a whole topped the $1 billion GGR threshold, which is an 11.5 percent gain on the same month last year. Slots accounted for the lion’s share of revenue at $636.5 million.

Sports Betting Reign

In May, New Jersey was quick to celebrate its becoming of the top sports betting state in terms of handle. Garden State sportsbooks printed $318.9 million worth of ticket slips compared to $317.4 million in the Silver State.

But in June, Nevada showed who’s really boss of the sports bet. Casino oddsmakers reported handle of $322 million, $49 million more than what New Jersey sportsbooks took. Nevada Gaming Control Board analyst Michael Lawton said it was a record month for June in terms of handle.

Sports betting went live on May 31 in neighboring Pennsylvania, which might be one reason for New Jersey’s handle slowdown. Four sports betting operators are now taking bets in-person and remotely in the Keystone State.

As for Nevada books, oddsmakers won $16.58 million on a 5.15 percent hold. Baseball delivered a $11.6 million homerun, and the “other” category was second with $4.6 million.

Economy Strong

Most of the major monitored markets in Nevada saw their casinos take in more gaming revenue in June 2019 than June 2018. Downtown Las Vegas gained 18.5 percent to $52.1 million, North Las Vegas won $22.8 million (13 percent), Laughlin won $39.4 million (8.4 percent), and Boulder $66.6 million (9 percent).

A couple lowlights include Reno’s GGR decline of 14 percent to $50.9 million, and South Shore Lake Tahoe at $16.4 million – down 12 percent.

But the Strip, which of course weighs heaviest on Nevada’s gaming industry, is once again seeing robust play. Nevada casinos won $11.9 billion in 2018, which was the state’s third all-time best year.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nevada’s unemployment rate stands at four percent. That’s slightly higher than the 3.7 percent nationwide rate, but is still far down from the state’s 13.1 percent unemployment mark experienced in June 2011.

Assuming baccarat holds steady, July could be another strong month for Nevada casinos and the Las Vegas Strip. The Independence Day holiday fell this year on a Thursday, which prompted many to take a long four-day weekend.

Las Vegas was expected to draw 330,000 people to Sin City for the July 4th weekend. AAA ranks Las Vegas as the No. 4 destination for Independence Day behind Orlando, Honolulu, Houston, and Seattle.