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Nevada sees flat January gaming win; big February expected

Updated March 1, 2024 - 9:29 am

Nevada’s January gaming win was flat compared with a year ago — but that’s OK, considering January 2023 was an all-time record for the first month of the year.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board on Thursday reported the state’s 438 major casinos won $1.27 billion for the month, a 0.5 percent increase from January 2023.

Strip winnings were down 3.8 percent from last year’s record January. It was the Strip’s first decline in winnings since June, ending a six-month streak. Gaming Control Board Senior Economic Analyst Michael Lawton surmised that after an all-time win record in December, some visitors deferred their trips from January to February to take advantage of the first-ever appearance of the Super Bowl in Las Vegas and because Chinese New Year fell in February instead of January.

One of the brightest spots for the month: The balance of Clark County win climbed by 10.9 percent to $169.3 million on the strength of the opening of Durango in December.

Reno and Washoe County numbers soared by 55 percent and 35.4 percent, respectively, due to a combination of the timing of slot machine winnings collections and the area suffering a weaker-than-normal January in 2023 due to inclement weather.

It was the 35th straight month gaming win exceeded $1 billion.

Lawton cited several special events that contributed to higher numbers of people in Southern Nevada during the month.

The Las Vegas Raiders played a home game at Allegiant Stadium on Jan. 7. “Weekends With Adele” returned to the Colosseum at Caesars Palace Jan. 19 and 26. U2 continued its residency at the Sphere Jan. 26-31, and three major trade shows — CES, the World of Concrete and the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade shows — occupied city convention centers.

On the Strip, acknowledged last week by the American Gaming Association as the nation’s top casino market, game wins and percentage holds were mixed, but in many cases, amounts won in January were compared with best-ever figures from January 2023.

At the Strip’s 61 licensed casinos, slot win increased 3.1 percent to $400.8 million despite a 4.5 percent decrease in coin-in — the amount wagered — but the hold percentage was 9.2 percent compared with 8.5 percent last year.

Blackjack win totaled $70.5 million, down 24 percent from a year ago, with volume off 13.2 percent. The casino hold was 14.5 percent compared with 16.6 percent a year ago, and last year win was up 12.7 percent from the previous year.

Roulette win nosedived 47.9 percent to $21 million with volumes off 4.3 percent, in large part due to hold being 11.9 percent this year compared with 22 percent a year ago.

Strip craps win totaled $23.1 million and decreased 17.9 percent with volumes down 20.2 percent. The hold percentage was 17.1 percent compared with 16.6 percent a year ago.

Strip baccarat win totaled $97 million, up 7.4 percent while volume was down 31.9 percent with a hold percentage of 16.4 percent vs. 10.4 percent last year. Baccarat win a year ago was up 44.1 percent with drop up 23.5 percent.

Strip sports books won $28.5 million, up 35.4 percent while drop decreased 22 percent from 2023. The hold percentage was 14.8 percent compared with 13.2 percent last year.

Gaming tax collections are faring well compared with a year ago.

Through Tuesday, the state collected $99.7 million in gaming percentage taxes from January play, the highest monthly amount collected in the 2023-24 fiscal year. The state assesses a maximum 6.75 percent gaming tax in addition to fees per gaming table and slot machine.

For the first seven months of the current fiscal year, the state has collected $684.6 million, a 5.8 percent increase from the previous fiscal year.

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

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