Nonrestricted casinos in the Silver State featuring table games and 15 or more slots reported a $1.04 billion gaming win in January, an increase of 12.02 percent compared to the same time last year when the win was reported at $925 million, according to Nevada Gaming Control Board figures. The state hasn’t surpassed the $1 billion mark since July of 2016.
Not since February 2013 has the state exceeded the best 30-day performance mark it hit in January, with gaming revenue in Nevada up 12 percent last month compared to the same period last year. State regulators also reported seeing an increase of 14.3 percent in January’s gaming revenue in Clark County, while the Strip edged past that showing an increase of 14.4 present at $532 million.
Commenting on last month’s $1.04 billion win, Tax and License Division of the Gaming Control Board senior research analyst, Michael Lawton, said, “The billion dollar number is impressive; it’s sort of a high water mark.” Lawton added, “The last time we recorded a billion was in July, but this month is a little bit higher than July’s … It’s a nice sign that we recorded a billion twice in the last seven months,” according to the Las Vegas Sun.
According to Lawton, the fact that the Chinese New Year began at the month’s end, as opposed to being entirely in February last year, was the primary incendiary behind the increase. Lawton said, “Chinese New Year is a big event that brings in a lot of baccarat play,” and, “It was a very good month for baccarat,” as reported by the news agency.
The research analyst reportedly said that the $157.9 million in recorded baccarat wins were up 55.1 percent in January compared to the same time frame last year. An increase of 47.8 percent was seen in the volume of baccarat play as well, with the total volume recorded at $935.6 million. Lawton said, “We really haven’t seen a lot of baccarat volume increases lately. It’s been a struggle. We’ve only had five increases in the last 25 months,” according to the report.
January’s biggest gains were seen in Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, where revenue increased by 32 percent and 25.94 percent respectively. Lawton said the increases were largely due to the New Year’s Eve holiday falling on a weekend rather than a weekday. He said because of the timing, they “had some slot revenue roll into January from December,” according to eh news agency. “Downtown Las Vegas’ and North Las Vegas’ significant uptick is due to timing.”
Based on the Control Board figures for last month’s gaming revenue, $75.2 million in fees was collected by the state in January, an 8.08 percent decrease from the $81.8 million collected in January 2016.
Also expected to boost gaming revenue in Downtown Las Vegas, Millennial Esports opened its Esport Studio and Arena on Friday, when it featured the 2017 Halo World Championship qualifier. With casinos everywhere, including Las Vegas, targeting millennials, gambling venues are trying to identify their habits and what aspect of gambling they’re willing to drop some of their hard-earned cash on.