The downtown Las Vegas gaming market outperformed the state’s other 12 markets by percentage increase over the previous year for total revenue, the state Gaming Control Board reported Wednesday.
The board published its 2016 Gaming Abstract, an annually produced document listing casino, hotel, food and beverage revenues and expenses in 13 statewide markets for properties generating $1 million or more in gross revenue by fiscal year.
Data aren’t broken out by property, but in Southern Nevada, totals are grouped by Clark County, the Strip, downtown Las Vegas, Laughlin, the Boulder Strip and the balance of the county.
Regulators have generated the report since 1972.
Statewide, the 241-page report issued Wednesday shows the state closed in on historic highs for revenue generation. The 2016 fiscal year’s total revenue of $25.2 billion was 0.1 percent below the record $25.3 billion recorded in the 2007 fiscal year, just before the onset of the Great Recession.
It was the first time since the 2007 fiscal year that Nevada casinos showed net income instead of a loss. The report said the state’s 273 reporting casinos showed revenue was 2.6 percent greater than in the 2015 fiscal year. Of that $25.2 billion, $10.8 billion was attributed to casino revenue, which was 1.3 percent ahead of the previous year. The rest of the revenue came from rooms, food and beverage and other attractions.
Statewide net income was $979 million for the fiscal year compared with a net loss of $661.8 million in fiscal 2015.
Nowhere in the state has the uptick been more pronounced than in downtown Las Vegas. Total revenue downtown for the 2016 fiscal year was $1.1 billion, a 6.1 percent increase over last year. Gaming revenue was tallied at $549.6 million, which was 3.9 percent ahead of fiscal 2015.
“Downtown’s gaming revenue has been on the climb for three consecutive years but still well below peak levels,” said Michael Lawton, senior research analyst for the Tax and License Division of the Gaming Control Board.
“Downtown’s room revenue was strong as well, up $19.5 million or 10 percent. That helped drive the increase of total revenue.
“Operators have been successful in redeveloping properties, the Downtown Project has brought in additional bodies to the area and successful flight programs developed by operators have been very good for the market.”
The downtown uptick lends credence to anecdotal accounts from downtown operators who say the market has performed well since the end of summer — after the dates studied in the Gaming Abstract.
In December, Jonathan Jossel, CEO of the downtown’s Plaza hotel-casino said his property has seen double-digit percentage growth in gross gaming revenue over the same month of the prior year.
A.G. Burnett, chairman of the state Gaming Control Board, said he wasn’t surprised by the turnaround.
“Everybody we talk to seem to have very positive things to talk about,” Burnett said after Wednesday’s board meeting. “Things are going well and there are really positive signs (for the future).”
In addition to downtown’s rebound, the Gaming Abstract summary indicated a 5.7 percent increase in total revenue for Reno and Sparks to $1.38 billion and a 5.1 percent increase for the south shore of Lake Tahoe to $375 million.
The state’s dominant market, the Strip, had a 2.2 percent increase in total revenue to $17.1 billion with gaming revenue up 0.2 percent to $5.86 billion.