Las Vegas Strip Gaming Revenue Declines 9.25 Percent in October, Reduced Hold Blamed

Posted on: November 26, 2019, 08:54h. 

Last updated on: November 26, 2019, 10:23h.

Casinos on the Las Vegas Strip saw their gross gaming revenue (GGR) decline 9.25 percent last month, with poor hold and a lethargic convention calendar blamed for the win fall.

Las Vegas Strip GGR Nevada casino
The Halloween month wasn’t kind to Las Vegas Strip casinos, which reported reduced win on their floors. (Image: Radiant Inc.)

Strip casinos won $538.5 million, roughly $55 million less than they did in the same month in 2018. Reduced hold on blackjack and baccarat was cited for the downturn, as was a lackluster convention period.

The good news was that statewide GGR eclipsed the $1 billion mark for a second straight month. The $1 billion threshold has been hit six times in 2019: February, March, June, July, September, and October.

However, October’s collective haul of $1.02 billion marked a 3.85 percent year-over-year decline. Along with the Strip, casino win was down 5.5 percent in Laughlin to $44.5 million, and down 3.3 percent in North Las Vegas to $26.4 million.

There were some bright spots. Downtown Las Vegas continued to shine. GGR there was up 7.2 percent to $68.3 million. Gaming on the Boulder Strip grew negligibly (0.2 percent) to $78.5 million, and 7.3 percent in Mesquite to $12.2 million.

The October report is a disappointing follow-up to September, which marked the state’s all-time best performance for the month. Strip GGR came in at $584.2 million – a seven percent premium.

Spooky Numbers

Nevada GGR was down for several key games in October 2019 vs. 2018.

Blackjack win totaled $92.2 million last month, down substantially from 2018’s $125.5 million. Baccarat also suffered, with win on the table game coming in at $56.7 million, a nearly $20 million reduction from October 2018.

The house fared well in October 2018, blackjack and baccarat hold respectively 18 percent and nine percent. In October 2019, those holds were 15 percent and eight percent.

Roulette plummeted 30 percent to $28.1 million, and craps win was flat at $31.7 million. Some of the table game losses were offset by a 5.8 percent GGR gain on penny slots, which delivered casinos $318.5 million. Higher denomination slots, however, disappointed.

Jointly, slot machines reported a GGR gain of 0.8 percent, the terminals accounting for $699 million of Nevada’s $1.02 billion October win – nearly 70 percent.

Sports Betting Tops NJ

New Jersey oddsmakers are quick to point out how fast they’ve been able to compete with – and, in some months, overtake – Nevada in terms of overall sports betting handle and subsequent win. But in October, the Silver State came out on top of the Garden State.

Nevada sportsbooks won $47.88 million last month, slightly beating New Jersey’s $46.39 million.

Football was responsible for the lion’s share of sports betting revenue, oddsmakers keeping $26.1 million on pigskin outcomes. Baseball, fueled by a thrilling World Series that went seven games between the Houston Astros and eventual underdog winners Washington Nationals, was next at $11.4 million.