Nevada Casinos Extend Unprecedented $1B Winning Streak to 12 Months

Posted on: March 30, 2022, 01:57h. 

Last updated on: March 30, 2022, 02:51h.

It used to be a thing when Nevada casinos eclipsed the $1 billion mark in a single month. Not anymore.

Nevada casinos gaming revenue Las Vegas GGR
Pedestrians walk the Las Vegas Strip with Paris in the background in February of 2022. Nevada casinos won more than $1 billion last month, which extends the state’s billion-dollar winning streak to 12 months. (Image: Bloomberg)

Gross gaming revenue (GGR) from Nevada casinos, sports betting, and online poker totaled more than $1.113 billion in February of 2022. It marks the 12th consecutive month that the state gaming industry has eclipsed the 10-digit mark.

The $1 billion monthly wins were once greatly celebrated. But with inflation soaring, those days are seemingly gone.

Between 2008 until the spring of 2018, Nevada didn’t report even three consecutive months of $1 billion or more in monthly gaming revenue. The state has incurred some $1B+ runs since, but nothing like the current one.

Nevada casinos topped $1 billion seven times in 2019. But in the wake of the global pandemic that kept most everyone home and their travel greatly limited for much of 2020, pent-up demand fueled gaming in Southern Nevada last year, and the run has continued into 2022.

February 2022’s GGR haul is a 44% year-over-year gain from February 2021, when the casinos won $772.4 million. Last month was also nearly 7% better than February 2020, and 10% better than February 2019.

Slowdown Could Be Coming

Twelve consecutive months of at least $1 billion in gaming revenue is a most notable achievement. But some say casinos might be smart to expect a business slowdown in the coming months.

Michael Lawton, senior research analyst at the Nevada Gaming Control Board, says the pent-up demand that has caused a new Roaring 20s might last throughout 2022. But he says other influences, such as inflation and costly gas prices, could hurt the overall gaming industry ahead.

Our comparisons are going to become extremely difficult in the upcoming months and we are optimistic that this level of gaming win will continue,” Lawton said. “However, there are a great deal of macro-economic and geo-political events that are happening in real time which are concerning and it is unknown how it could impact the trends we have been witnessing for the past year.”

For now, things in the Silver State are golden. Nearly every metered market reported a year-over-year GGR gain, including the Strip — the most important segment. Every gaming segment in Southern Nevada posted double-digit gains, with Strip casinos leading the way with GGR of $599.1 million. That’s a 72% year-over-year surge.

Not On Par With Pre-Pandemic

Though Nevada’s GGR numbers for February represent considerable gains compared with the same month in 2019 and 2020, soaring inflation greatly reduces the value of the increases.

The $1.113 billion won is about $102 million more than February 2019, and $72 million better than February 2020. But with inflation rising at rates not experienced in decades, last month’s $1.113 billion isn’t the premium on 2019 and 2020 it initially appears to be. In fact, they’re declines.

With inflation factored in, February 2019’s GGR total of $1.011 billion equates to approximately $1.12 billion today. February 2020’s gaming income of $1.042 billion equates to $1.15 billion in 2022 dollars.