weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Nevada gaming revenue up less than 1 percent in 2015; Strip down slightly

Call 2015 a wash for the state’s casino industry.

Statewide gaming revenue climbed less than 1 percent (0.9 percent to be exact) to $11.1 billion during the calendar year, according to figures released Friday by the Gaming Control Board.

On the Strip, gaming revenue was relatively flat (down 0.4 percent actually) at $6.348 billion, which compared with $6.372 billion in 2014. The slight dip was the Strip’s second straight annual decrease following four consecutive annual increases.

The statewide gaming industry — Las Vegas in particular — earns most of its revenue from outside the casino floor. In the last fiscal year, gaming revenue accounted for 43.2 percent of the total revenue collected by casinos statewide.

On the Strip, gaming revenue was just 34.9 percent of the total revenue with the larger portion coming from, hotel rooms, restaurants, entertainment and other nongaming amenities.

“We encourage investors to keep in mind gross gaming revenue represents only one, and decreasing in relative importance, we might add, source of cash flow for Strip resort operators,” said Stifel Nicolaus Capital Markets gaming analyst Steven Wieczynski.

During 2015, Clark County as a whole saw gaming revenue jump less than 1 percent to $9.6 billion, helped by single-digit increases in other Southern Nevada reporting areas, including a 6 percent jump in downtown gaming revenue. Downtown casinos had the largest year-over-year increase in any state reporting area.

Only three areas of the state — the Strip and the two Lake Tahoe markets — were down in 2015.

“It shows the growth was widespread across the state,” said Control Board Senior Research Director Mike Lawton.

Baccarat results, he said, were the reason for the Strip’s overall decline in 2015. Revenue from the game of $1.366 billion in 2015 was a decline of $203.7 million, or 12.5 percent, from 2014. The Strip’s overall revenue was down just $24.5 million from a year ago, meaning baccarat was the key factor in the drop.

Brent Pirosch, director of gaming consulting for CBRE, said Strip casinos are becoming less reliant on baccarat. He said 2013’s overall figure of $1.68 billion in baccarat revenue was a record year and “the comparables since then have been tough to meet.”

Pirosch said baccarat represented 21.5 percent of the Strip’s total gaming revenue in 2015, down from 24.5 percent in 2014. He said the game was just 14 percent of the Strip’s overall total in 2000.

“Up until the last 18-24 months, baccarat had been propping up revenue growth for the past several years, becoming a greater portion of overall win,” Piroch said.

Washoe County in Northern Nevada saw gaming revenue increase 3.2 percent in 2015.

Statewide in 2015, slot machine revenue was $7 billion, a 3.8 percent increase. Table game revenue of $4.1 billion was a 3.8 percent decline.

Lawton said 2015 marked the first time the state cracked the $7 billion mark for slot machine revenue since 2008.

In December, gaming revenue increased 3.3 percent statewide to $982 million and 8.2 percent on the Strip to $600.7 million to close out the year. The figures were just the third monthly increases in the last seven months for both markets.

December numbers on the Strip were actually helped by baccarat results. Revenue from the game of $177.3 million was a 19.8 percent increase from a year ago. Wagering of $1.2 billion was a decline of 10.7 percent. The hold percentage was 14.8 percent compared with 12.7 percent in December 2014.

“Overall, we continue to think that the Las Vegas Strip can generate mid-single revenue per available room and low single digit visitation growth, though we expect the market to continue experiencing volatility in baccarat play given a likely slowdown in Chinese players,” said J.P. Morgan gaming analyst Joe Greff.

In January, Nevada collected $48.6 million gaming taxes based on the December casino revenue, an increase of 11.3 percent from a year ago. For the first seven months of the calendar year, gaming tax collections are up less than 1 percent.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Find @howardstutz on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Business Videos
How much do Las Vegas casino CEOs make?
Las Vegas gaming CEOs made anywhere between $1 million and $24 million last year, according to company filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. ((Las Vegas Review-Journal)
30-year-old Rio needs a little TLC
Nearly 30 years after the Rio opened, the red and blue jewel that helped catapult Las Vegas to a new level with its buffet and nightclub has lost its status along with its shine.
The latest on the Drew Las Vegas - VIDEO
Eli Segall recounts his tour of the Drew Las Vegas, formerly the Fontainebleau, on the Las Vegas Strip. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pinball Hall of Fame to move near south Strip
Operators of the Pinball Hall of Fame have been approved to build a new, larger arcade near the south edge of the Strip on Las Vegas Boulevard near Russel Road. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
National Hardware Show underway Las Vegas
The National Hardware Show kicked off Tuesday at the Las Vegas Convention Center (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Caesars for sale?
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has been swept up in takeover speculation since the company’s share price tumbled last year amid disappointing earnings and concerns over a recession. Amid the decline, hedge funds scooped up shares. Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn began buying shares of Caesars as early as January. Icahn acquired nearly 18 percent by mid-March. In February Icahn called on the Caesars board to study a sale as a way to boost shareholder value.
Las Vegas home prices
Las Vegas home prices grew fastest among major markets in February for the ninth straight month. But amid affordability concerns, the growth rate has slowed down. Southern Nevada prices in February were up 9.7% from a year earlier, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index. The last time Las Vegas' price growth fell below 10% was in September 2017, S&P Dow Jones Indices reported.
Free Parking Coming To Wynn
Free parking will come to the Wynn and Encore resorts on May 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Founding Venetian employees talk about 20 years at the Strip resort
The Venetian, which opened May 3, 1999, is celebrating 20 years on the Las Vegas Strip. Seven original employees talk about opening the luxury resort and working there for two decades. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Circa aiming for December 2020 opening
The 1.25-million-square-foot property will have 44-stories and 777-rooms. It will also have a separate nine-story, 1,201-space parking garage.
Boxabl official explains the building concept
Boxabl business development manager Galiano Tiramani shows off a room built by his company. (Blake Apgar/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TI/Mirage Tram reopens
The tram that shuttles guests between TI and Mirage reopened this week after being closed for much of 2018.
Las Vegas Convention Center expansion taking shape
Renderings and actual footage show how the Las Vegas Convention Center is evolving.
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz at Las Vegas convention
Former Starbucks CEO and potential presidential candidate Howard Schultz spoke at the Epicor Insights user conference at Mandalay Bay Convention Center Wednesday, April 17, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Drew Las Vegas to open in the second quarter of 2022
The 67-story Drew Las Vegas is slated to open in the second quarter of 2022 at the north end of the Las Vegas Strip. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NAB Day 1 (Time Lapse)
NAB kicked off at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Monday, April 8, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
National Association of Broadcasters Show shows 1mm thick 8K TV with 22.2 channel digital sound
Japan’s NHK Science & Technology Research Laboratories booth featured a 1mm thick 8K TV system used in conjunction with a 22.2 channel digital sound system at the National Association of Broadcasters Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Nevada shoppers react to Smith’s no longer accepting Visa credit cards
On March 1, Smith’s announced that it would no longer be accepting Visa credit cards at any of its 142 supermarkets, including the 45 in Nevada.
Massachusetts Gaming Commission asks how long Wynn executives knew about misconduct
Business reporter Rick Velotta gives an update on the adjudicatory hearing on the suitability of Wynn Resorts to retain its gaming license in Massachusetts.
Henderson app developer part of Startup in Residence
Henderson based developers of the app On Point Barricade are taking part in Startup in Residence, a North America program dedicated to pairing tech companies with governments. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Sam's Town employees and customers talk of their love for the iconic casino
Longtime Sam's Town employees and customers love each other and love their casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas apartments rents
Las Vegas’ apartment market has accelerated in recent years. Developers are packing the suburbs with projects, landlords are on a buying spree, and tenants have filled buildings.
William Boyd talks about the birth of Sam's Town
On the eve of the 40th anniversary of Sam's Town, William Boyd, executive chairman of Boyd Gaming and son of hotel namesake Sam Boyd, talks about how the casino became one of the first local properties in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
High Roller observation wheel turns five
The world’s tallest observation wheel celebrates it’s fifth year on Sunday, March 31, 2019. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Vegas88s
Escape Room Industry Growing In Las Vegas
Escapology employees discuss the growing escape room industry in the U.S. and Las Vegas. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Impact of parking fees on visiting the Las Vegas Strip
There are no data showing a relationship between Strip resort and parking fees and the number of out-of-state visitors to Las Vegas. But there are data showing a relationship between Strip parking fees and the number of local visitors to the the Strip. ‘’As a local, I find myself picking hotels I visit for dinner or entertainment, based on whether they charge for parking or not,”’ said David Perisset, the owner of Exotics Racing. ‘’It is not a matter of money, more of principle.’’ A 2018 survey by the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance found 36.9 percent of Clark County residents reported avoiding parking at Strip casinos that charge for parking. 29.1 percent reported avoiding using any services from a Strip casino that charges for parking.
MGM's sports betting deals
MGM Resorts International signed a sports betting sponsorship agreement with the NBA in July It was the first professional sports league to have official ties with a legal sports betting house. The deal came just two months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a law prohibiting sports betting in most states. In October, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the NHL. In November, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the MLB. Financial terms of Tuesday’s deal and earlier partnerships have not been announced.
Faraday puts Las Vegas land on the market
Nearly two years after Faraday Future bailed on its North Las Vegas auto factory, the company has put its land up for sale. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
El Cortez owner Kenny Epstein on running the iconic property
Kenny Epstein, owner of the El Cortez Hotel in downtown Las Vegas, talks about Jackie Gaughan mentorship and answers rumors about bodies in the basement at the mob-era casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
LVCVA recommends construction of underground people mover
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority announced the recommendation for an underground people mover for the convention center. The system would have the potential to expand and connect Downtown and the resort corridor all the way to McCarran. (Michael Quine/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lucky Dragon’s foreign investors demand refund

The Lucky Dragon’s developers and prior management are facing lawsuits from Chinese investors, the project’s main lender and a Canadian high-roller who paid a $400,000 deposit to lease the casino just one month before it abruptly closed.