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Records fall with best October on record for Nevada gaming win

Updated November 30, 2023 - 6:28 pm

More gaming win records fell in Nevada in October, but the question now is how long will they stand?

The Nevada Gaming Control Board on Thursday reported its best October win total in history and the sixth-best month all time with $1.3 billion collected, a 2.7 percent increase over last year.

Downtown Las Vegas’ $97.5 million was an all-time monthly record.

But industry analysts are looking to late December when the board releases figures from November, which will include win totals from when the inaugural Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix was run on the Strip.

December numbers also are expected to be robust with two new properties — Durango and Fontainebleau — open and joining their respective markets.

“We will be reporting the November gaming win totals during the last week of December, and I understand there will be a great deal of anticipation to see the results and the impact from F1 so everyone will have to stay tuned until that time,” said Michael Lawton, the Control Board’s senior economic analyst who crunches the gaming numbers for the state.

Nearly every Southern Nevada market saw increases in gaming win in October over last year, despite there being one fewer weekend day in October 2023 compared with the previous year.

Win on the Boulder Strip was up 10.3 percent to $88.6 million, and Laughlin climbed 5.3 percent to $47.6 million. Among Southern Nevada markets, only North Las Vegas declined, off 0.8 percent to $23.4 million.

Lawton said October figures reversed a trend with several markets, including downtown Las Vegas, Laughlin, the Boulder Strip, outlying Clark County and Washoe County lifting statewide totals because of increased slot machine win totals driven by increased hold percentages.

Lawton said the state’s gaming numbers continue to push ahead of those from pre-pandemic 2019. Statewide total win was 28.7 percent, or $293.3 million, more than October 2019. The month also represented the 32nd consecutive month that the state has recorded at least $1 billion in monthly gaming win.

Strip properties continue to benefit from residencies, concerts and sports. Weekends with Adele continued at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace Oct. 6-28. U2 had 12 shows at the Sphere venue.

Pink and her Summer Carnival Tour performed at Allegiant Stadium on Oct. 7, and Ed Sheeran’s Mathematics Tours also was at Allegiant on Oct. 28.

Usher returned to Dolby Live at Park MGM Oct. 11-28, and the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Cup Series took place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Oct. 14-15. The Las Vegas Raiders played two home games in October, Monday Night Football against the Green Bay Packers on Oct. 9 and against the New England Patriots Oct. 15.

Gambling on the Strip is gradually slowing down with slot machine win decreasing 1.1 percent and the total amount wagered off 1.3 percent to $4.9 billion. Slot machine hold was virtually unchanged: 8.21 percent vs. 8.2 percent a year ago.

That represents three straight months of slot machine revenue declines. Before August, slot win last decreased in July 2022. October ended a streak of 30 consecutive monthly increases in slot volume on the Strip going back to March 2021.

Table-game play also was sluggish.

Table win totaled $308.5 million, up 4.4 percent, with the drop, or money wagered, declining 5.5 percent. Table games were saved by a higher hold percentage — 15.23 percent compared with 13.79 percent last year.

Games drop has declined six consecutive months on the Strip.

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

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