Nevada casinos continued their winning ways in October, as the state gaming industry surpassed $1 billion in gross gaming revenue (GGR) for an eighth consecutive month.
Statewide GGR totaled more than $1.22 billion, which represented a 48.5 percent surge on October 2020. The October 2021 haul also easily bested pre-pandemic October 2019 by almost 20 percent when the state’s more than 320 gaming locations collectively won just over $1 billion.
Strong demand across markets, the continued rebound of leisure travel, and the return of special events and entertainment continued to propel gaming win past 2019 levels, which are now 9.2 percent above calendar year to date 2019,” explained Michael Lawton, senior research analyst for the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
“This month specifically had a very full calendar of events. Additionally, the month of October benefited from having five weekends compared to four in 2019,” Lawton added.
Las Vegas and Nevada are bracing for the potential impacts that might come with the omicron strain. Health experts around the world are scrambling to learn the severity of COVID-19’s latest mutation.
Nevada’s strong October was naturally led by its most critical market — Clark County. Las Vegas’ home accounted for $1.05 billion of the revenue, with approximately $702.1 million being generated on the Strip. Clark County has now eclipsed the $1 billion mark in five of the previous six months.
Las Vegas Strip casinos experienced a year-over-year gaming revenue jump of almost 87 percent. Table games were responsible for the robust play, blackjack GGR totaling $91.9 million — 33 percent than the $69.1 million twenty-one won in October of 2019.
GGR from all tables on the Strip totaled $333.9 million, which is more than $100 million better than October 2019.
One casino executive after another told the country that extraordinary pent-up demand in the aftermath of the most restrictive days of the COVID-19 pandemic would result in a surge of tourism and gaming. Their forecasts have been realized in most gaming markets in the United States.
And as a result, Las Vegas casinos are able to charge premium rates for their more than 145,300 resort hotel rooms. Data supplied by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau (LVCVA) reveals that the average room on the Strip in October went for $185. That’s up $20 per night from September, and $73 per night from October 2020.
The Strip’s October 2021 average room rate of $185 is also 26 percent costlier than what the same occupancies went for in October 2019.
Big Bets, Small Hold
October 2021 was an exceptional period for sports bettors who wagered a record $1.1 billion on games. Football, both NFL and college, accounted for the bulk of it at $728.6 million.
The house, however, fared poorly on the record action. Oddsmakers reported a hold — aka win rate — of just 4.1 percent. That equates to revenue of roughly $48.3 million.
Nevada is just the second state in the history of the United States to take in more than $1 billion in legal sports bets in a single month. New Jersey, which is today the richest sports betting state, was the first to achieve the historic feat in both September and October of 2021.
Lawton said that the first season of the Las Vegas Raiders playing in Sothern Nevada with fans in the team’s Allegiant Stadium is leading to increased wagering. The state researcher said the handle is higher when the Raiders play at home than when away.
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