Without McGregor and Mayweather, Las Vegas Strip Revenue Loses Punch, Dips by Over 12 Percent in August

Posted on: September 28, 2018, 03:00h. 

Last updated on: September 28, 2018, 10:30h.

Casinos along the Las Vegas Strip saw a decline in revenue for the second consecutive month in August, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB).

Conor McGregor (left, in purple jacket) entertains a crowd leading up to his August 26, 2017 boxing match with Floyd Mayweather. The fight led to a massive increase in revenue for Las Vegas Strip casinos. Without a comparable money-making event, Strip revenue took a dip in August 2018. (Photo: Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Strip revenue was down 12.4 percent in the month, compared to August 2017. Since revenue generated by casinos along the Las Vegas Strip account for more than half of all the state’s totals, gaming revenue across Nevada was down as well, by 7.7 percent in the month.

In July, revenue along the Strip was down 5.8 percent from the previous year. The last two months of losses are a departure from the first half of the year, when the state saw revenue increase in five of the first six months of 2018. Most recently, in June, revenue across the state increased by 4.2 percent.

Gaming wins along the strip equaled $477,918,527 in August, nearly $70 million less than the $545,546,040 last year.

2017 Strip Bonanza

Las Vegas Strip casinos were going up against an unbeatable opponent: the previous year’s August.

That’s when the Conor McGregor/Floyd Mayweather boxing match drew international attention and increased revenue along the Las Vegas Strip by more than 21 percent in August 2017. The boxing match helped Strip casinos make $545.5 million cumulatively that month. Nevada sportsbooks also took in an estimated $65 million in fight bets and made plenty of profit on the outcome.

To show how profitable the event was, the 21 percent revenue increase in August 2017 came after Strip revenue decreased by 7.7 percent in July 2017.

Survey Says

The 12 percent drop this month might be inflated due to last year’s circumstances, but that isn’t stopping some casino executives from asking questions.

After the negative July, MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren called it a “third quarter pheonomenon” and said the summer months are typically “tough.”

His company is one of at least two trying to get to the bottom of it, according to Sin City news website VitalVegas.com. The popular blog reported that MGM properties have sent out customer surveys to previous guests asking if Las Vegas is “changing for the better” or “changing for the worse” and asks customers if they will be visiting more or less often.

A survey from Caesars Entertainment explicitly asks customers if they think “resort fees seem unreasonable.” Casinos in Las Vegas have come under recent scrutiny and both MGM and Caesars are among companies who have raised resort fees at their properties this year.

MGM raised resort fees in March and has seen its stock drop from over $35 a share in April to $27 currently. Caesars raised resort fees in February. The company’s stock reached past $13 per share in May, but is now down to $10.