Nevada Up, Las Vegas Strip Down in Latest Revenue Figures

on January 2, 2015
Downtown Las Vegas Nevada revenues

Nevada gaming revenues saw Strip casinos fall slightly, while downtown Las Vegas saw strong growth in November. (Image: thetravelingphilosopher.com)

Nevada casinos saw revenues climb slightly in November, as statewide gambling offset a slight drop for casinos on the Las Vegas Strip in a month that was mostly flat across the board.

Overall, the Silver State was up 0.4 percent year-over-year, while Strip casinos were down about four percent, the fourth straight monthly decrease for the largest gambling hub in the United States.

The Las Vegas Strip suffered slightly because of a big drop in table game revenues. Overall, table games were down about eight percent, and that would have been a double-digit dip if not for baccarat, which was down only about one percent.

That may prove that while Las Vegas isn’t having the kinds of trouble that Macau is in the face of China’s corruption crackdown, it hasn’t really been able to take advantage of it by drawing Chinese high-rollers from Macau, either.

“All things considered, we view the November results in a positive light,” said Steven Wieczynski, a gaming analyst for Stifefl Nicolaus Capital Markets. “We believe the baccarat results confirm recent headwinds in the Macau market have not proportionately spilled over into Vegas.”

Slots Volume Down for November

However, there are some concerns that the rank-and-file “mass market” gamblers may have spent less in November 2014  as well. Analysts pointed out that slot machines, traditionally the top indicator of mass-market players, saw 2.5 percent less wagering volume for the month, though revenues on the machines were still up by two percent.

But while there was some mild disappointment in the numbers from the Strip, Sin City still had plenty to celebrate. The rest of Las Vegas (including the downtown area) saw double-digit year-over-year revenue increases, with areas that appeal to locals more than tourists doing particularly well.

In other areas, Reno’s revenue was down slightly, to $43 million during the month, while South Lake Tahoe saw its take decline by a massive 30 percent compared to November 2013.

Online Poker Continues Decline

Online poker was down again across the state, as November’s take of $641,000 once more set a new monthly low since the state started reporting revenue figures for Internet gaming in February.

That number was down about two percent from October, which was the previous low month for the state. It may be a while before these numbers are released again by the Nevada Gaming Control Board; with the closure of Ultimate Poker, there are now just two Internet poker sites running in the state, less than the minimum of three regulators required to break out online poker revenue data.

Sports Betting Sets Records

One continued area of growth for the state came from sports betting. As New Jersey continues to try to find a legal way to offer such bets, Nevada is still the only state with fully regulated betting on sports, and gamblers flocked to there to bet $535 million on games in November.

Most of that action, just over $400 million in total, came from betting on professional and college football. Those totals were all-time monthly records for Nevada.

While these numbers certainly don’t signal explosive growth for the Las Vegas market, Macquarie Securities gaming analyst Chad Beynon said that the underlying numbers and the growth in the locals market were still good signs for the city’s long-term outlook.

“We view any recovery in the Las Vegas market as a bonus, given the flat growth nature during the past three years,” Beynon said.