Nevada Casinos Eclipse $1B Mark for Record Ninth Consecutive Month

Posted on: December 29, 2021, 08:56h. 

Last updated on: December 29, 2021, 02:17h.

Nevada casinos won more than $1 billion from gamblers for the ninth consecutive month, an unprecedented streak that comes on the heels of a global pandemic that rendered Las Vegas lifeless during much of 2020.

Nevada casinos revenue GGR Las Vegas
The Las Vegas Strip is bustling in this March 2021 photo. Nevada casinos continue to experience unparalleled play, as gaming revenue across the state topped $1 billion for a ninth straight time. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Statewide gross gaming revenue (GGR) in November topped the 10-digit mark once again. It’s the first time in Nevada history that casinos have won at least $1 billion in nine straight months. The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) said there were 433 licensed gaming venues in operation last month.

November’s gaming haul of $1.32 billion was a more than 71 percent improvement on November 2020. Clark County casinos, home to Las Vegas, won $1.16 billion. Strip casinos generated GGR of $755 million.

The nine-month run of eclipsing $1 billion each month in gaming income breaks the previous record of eight months set between October 2006 through May 2007.

Nevada oddsmakers experienced their best month ever in November, as sportsbook revenue nearly hit $72 million. Slot machines kept $859.9 million of players’ money, blackjack won $124.5 million, and baccarat GGR was $94.2 million.

Viva Las Vegas

Las Vegas is amid an extraordinary time, as gamblers and leisure travelers rush back to Southern Nevada a year after the US greatly limited the operations of nonessential businesses and tourism came to a standstill.

Visitor volume in Las Vegas is up 60.5 percent in 2021, compared with 2020 through October. Harry Reid International Airport has accommodated more than 35.8 million arriving and departing passengers through November, which is 75 percent more airline travelers than in 2020.

There’s still room for improvement. Visitor volume and airport numbers remain below 2019 levels. But the industry is nonetheless thriving in 2021.

“Nevada continued to record gaming win amounts in excess of pre-pandemic levels in November,” said Michael Lawton, senior research analyst at the NGCB. “Demand is being buoyed by healthy consumer savings, the sustained rebound of leisure travel, and the return of international flights (other than Canada and Mexico), which allowed vaccinated foreign nationals to travel to the United States beginning on Nov. 8. These factors, in addition to special events and entertainment, continued to propel gaming win past 2019 levels.”

Omicron Lingers

Though it’s becoming increasingly clear that the omicron COVID-19 variant presents less-severe symptoms in fully vaccinated people, the coronavirus strain is highly contagious, and is therefore significantly escalating total caseloads across the country. New cases have spiked fivefold in Clark County from June to this week.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week revised in half its isolation period for infected people from 10 days to five. The federal health agency says the decision was in response to omicron causing milder illnesses than earlier COVID-19 strains.

Not all of those [new] cases are going to be severe,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told the AP. “We want to make sure there is a mechanism by which we can safely continue to keep society functioning while following the science.”

Omicron has already greatly impacted what was supposed to be a grand return for CES in Las Vegas early next month. The former Consumer Electronics Show still plans to hold an in-person exhibition January 5-8 despite numerous tech giants pulling out, including Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Twitter.