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Nevada records first decline in gaming win in 8 months

Updated April 25, 2024 - 7:21 pm

State gaming win declined in March for the first time in eight months, the Nevada Gaming Control Board reported Thursday.

Despite a 1.7 percent decline statewide, a 1.6 percent drop in Clark County and a 1.2 percent dip in Strip revenue, totals for three-quarters of the fiscal year and the first quarter of calendar year 2024 are all ahead of previous-year levels.

Clark County and the Strip also had slight declines in January.

Michael Lawton, the Control Board’s senior economic analyst, said March may have been disappointing to some considering the strong list of events that month — concert performances by Bruce Springsteen, Madonna and Carrie Underwood and the return of NASCAR to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway — but the month was being compared with an all-time record slot machine revenue total collected in March 2023.

While the March calendar was filled with popular events, it may not have been as robust as in March 2023 when Taylor Swift had two performances at Allegiant Stadium, the massive ConExpo-Con/Ag construction equipment trade show was in town and the NCAA basketball tournament had regional matchups at T-Mobile Arena.

The state’s 444 licensed major casinos won $1.29 billion from gamblers while the 220 casinos in Clark County won $1.132 billion and the Strip’s 61 locations, $715.9 million.

Of the 20 submarkets monitored by the Control Board, 12 showed declines in March with downtown Las Vegas having the largest, down 12.9 percent to $76.2 million. The best performers in the state: Wendover and outlying Washoe County, both up 7 percent.

Despite March Madness wagering dominating sports betting that month, Nevada sportsbooks won $29.8 million, off 32.1 percent from a year earlier. The Control Board said players were luckier with their sports bets with the casino hold percentage at 3.79 percent compared with 5.28 percent last year. Bettors also wagered 5.5 percent less than they did a year ago, $784.4 million, and the amount bet through mobile wagering was down 4.6 percent to $507 million.

Baccarat play was one of the few bright spots for the casinos because they were luckier than players.

Casinos won $114.7 million, a 75.5 percent increase over last year in baccarat, thanks to a hold percentage of 18.81 percent this year compared with 10.33 percent last year.

The Control Board also said gaming tax collections continue to be on track to total more than $1 billion for the state’s general fund in the current fiscal year. After nine months of collections, the state has received $841.5 million, a 2.4 percent increase over the 2022-23 fiscal year.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on X.

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