Nevada Casino Revenue Soars in April, McCarran Airport Traffic Flies to New High

Posted on: May 31, 2018, 04:00h. 

Last updated on: May 31, 2018, 09:23h.

Nevada’s casino revenue totaled $953.7 million in April, bringing to close a statewide three-month stretch where the $1 billion mark was eclipsed.

Nevada casino revenue Las Vegas
Las Vegas’ airport is setting record marks, and increased visitation to Sin City is fueling strong Nevada casino revenues. (Image: George Rose/Getty)

April’s haul was still a strong showing, with gross gaming revenue (GGR) increasing 7.6 percent year-over-year. April pushes GGR for the last 12 months to a 2.8 percent gain. The string of solid performances comes after four consecutive monthly declines following the October 1 Las Vegas shooting.

Speaking of the Strip, April GGR there totaled $499.5 million, a five percent premium on the same month in 2017. Gaming income is up 1.4 percent between May 2017 and April 2018.

Strong blackjack numbers on the Strip ($72.3 million, up 14 percent) helped offset a sharp decline in baccarat due to poor win percentages. Baccarat revenue totaled $63.2 million on a 11.9 percent win percentage, a nearly 18 percent drop. In April 2017, casinos reported a 13.1 percent win rate in generating $76.7 million.

Downtown Las Vegas continued to grow gaming revenues, with GGR coming in at $60.48 million, a 15.6 percent increase. Clark County as a whole saw casino revenue climb 8.1 percent.

McCarran Flies High

Along with another strong casino revenue report, McCarran International Airport had some of its own good news to share.

The Las Vegas airport hub reports that more than 4.18 million passengers arrived and departed through its terminals in April. The 3.1 percent increase on 2017 set a new record for the month.

McCarran is coming off a record year where 48.5 million travelers passed through the airport. Its blistering pace has continued in 2018, as traffic is up three percent year to date.

Through April, McCarran has served 15,831,565 people. That’s over 455,000 more travelers in January-April.

Southwest accounts for the lion’s share of passengers, with the airline responsible for 40 percent of domestic traffic.

Strike Looms

The strong economic indicators in Las Vegas and Nevada could come to a screeching halt should a union strike occur.

The Culinary Union and its 50,000 members are threatening to walk off the job at 34 casinos should new contracts not be reached in a timely manner. The employment arrangements are set to expire at 12:00:01 Friday morning.

Earlier this month, a union vote authorized a strike, but that’s something both the union and casino operators hope to avoid. MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment, which own 18 of the threatened properties, say they hope resolve the negotiations in the days ahead.

The union is seeking a four percent compensation increase, protections to combat sexual harassment, and commitments from casino operators to oppose technological innovations that result in fewer jobs.

Financial analysts haven’t weighed in on how much economic damage a strike would do to Las Vegas, but the union says it would cost MGM and Caesars roughly $10 million in lost revenue for each day its workers strike.

The last time the Culinary Union walked off the job was back in 1984. That strike lasted 67 days.