According to recent data from state gaming regulators, the gaming win for Nevada casinos experienced a slight decline in March compared to the previous year. Despite this, non-restricted gaming licensees were still able to surpass the $1 billion mark, reporting a win of $1.31 billion last month.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board reported that the total revenue was approximately 3.2% lower than March 2022, when the gaming win was just under $1.36 billion. The decrease in revenue was primarily driven by the Las Vegas Strip, where casinos saw a 3% decline in their earnings from slots and tables. Nevertheless, this marks the 25th consecutive month that the state’s casinos have surpassed $1 billion in win revenue.
Despite a decline from the previous year, Las Vegas Strip casinos still accounted for over 55% of the state’s casino win with a reported win of $724.6 million. March typically draws large crowds to casinos for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, a significant sports betting event, but this was not sufficient to compensate for a 14% decrease in table games revenue, which came in at around $302.2 million.
In contrast, Downtown Las Vegas experienced a successful month, as Fremont Street and the surrounding casinos in Las Vegas City saw a modest increase of 1% in gross gaming revenue, reaching $87.4 million. This is noteworthy, given the increasingly challenging comparisons.
Furthermore, the Gaming Control Board reported that the state collected $97.4 million in percentage fees based on the taxable revenue generated last month, representing a 0.2% decrease from last April when percentage fee collections were $97.6 million.
Michael Lawton, the senior economic analyst at NGCB, has acknowledged that comparisons are becoming challenging for the state’s gaming industry as it experienced a surge of pent-up demand in the two years following the pandemic-stricken 2020. Now, it is increasingly difficult to match the numbers reported during those peak months.
Despite the 3% year-over-year setback, Lawton emphasized that the Nevada gaming industry is still in good health. He pointed out that the state’s second-best month ever for gaming win, behind only July 2021, was in March 2022, when $1.36 billion was won. March 2022 benefited from pent-up demand resulting from Omicron disruption in January and February.
Meanwhile, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) has also released its figures for March, revealing a nearly 10% year-over-year increase, with over 3.65 million visitors coming to Southern Nevada. This was partly due to the return of convention business, as exhibition traffic surged 40% to 771,000 attendees.
Furthermore, the Harry Reid International Airport, Las Vegas’ primary commercial airport, saw a 16% increase in passengers in March 2023 compared to March last year, with international passengers surging by 64%..