July marked a historical moment for the Las Vegas Strip as this month records a record in gaming revenue. The main factors that contributed to this incredible milestone are the opening of the Allegiant Stadium and Resorts World Las Vegas for their first month. Additionally, several entertainment venues were reopened and managed to bring 3.3 visitors to Sin City. That marks the strongest showing since the start of COVID-19.
Gaming revenue records were set before Nevada reinstituted a mandate on wearing masks while indoors. The rule was brought back to fight the increased number of infections and it became effective on July 30. However, it is interesting to mention that casino operators stated during earnings calls at the end of July and beginning of August that, going forward, they do not expect their businesses to slow down because of the mandate.
July is now Nevada’s fifth consecutive month in which the gaming revenue has topped $1 billion. In this month, the total revenue that the state recorded was $1.35 billion. That is an increase from the $1.19 billion gaming revenue in June and the $1.23 billion revenue that was recorded in May, which was a record at the time.
Revenues Shattered Records That Lasted Over A Decade
According to Michal Lawton, a Nevada Gaming Control Board senior research analyst, the last time when revenues of this magnitude occurred was from December 2007 to April 2008. The most impressive statistic, however, was the Strip’s gaming revenue in July, which was $793.7 million. That is an increase of 46.5% compared to July 2019. During this month, two years ago, the pandemic was not a factor and the recorded revenue was $541.8 million.
The prior high for the Strip’s showing, which was set in February, was also exceeded. Deutsche Bank stated that it was increased by 14% or approximately $100 million. Resorts World Las Vegas (RWLV) also opened its doors for visitors on June 24.
Compared to June’s gross-gaming-revenue-per-day basis, the revenue increased by 25.8% and the revenue that the Strip made increase by 30% from $610.6 million.
July Was a Perfect Storm
Lawton stated that in terms of the special events at the Allegiant Stadium, July couldn’t be better for gaming. Additionally, the month had five weekends. This was the first full month in which RWLV operated fully, but also a month that recorded an increased play and high hold in baccarat by international guests. The opening of Resorts World was long overdue.
He added that these milestones are also backed by other factors such as the return of leisure travel, demand, and healthy consumers thanks to the stimulus.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported that the number of visitors in July (3.3 million) surpassed the number of visitors in May (2.97 million). Compared to July 2019, a month that resulted in 3.68 million, the number dropped by just 10%.
During the weekends, hotel occupancy was over 88%, while the occupancy throughout the month was at 80%. Compared to July 2019, the monthly occupancy was 91%, while the occupancy during weekends was 97%.
Since the demand was higher, that also meant that the prices would go up. In July, the average rate for a daily room was $152.13, while in June, the rate was $127.90. The LVCVA stated that the room rate in July was around 20% higher than the one in June.
As for the revenue per available room, it increased by 24.4% compared to June as it was $120.79, but it was also higher than the one of July 2019. In July 2019, the revenue was $115.62, meaning that 2021’s revenue was 4.5% higher.
As for the special events, Lawton named the reopening of the Park MGM residency of Bruno Mars and his July 3 performance, Gareth Brooks performance at Allegiant Stadium on July 10, the show “O” of Cirque Du Soleil, which returned on July 1 at the Bellagio, UFC 264, which featured Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirer, Usher’s residency at Caesar’s Palace Colosseum on July 16, and the Gold Cup final between the US and Mexico which took place at the Allegiant Stadium on August 1.
The Strip Revenues for July Were Fascinating
The slot handle for the Strip in July 2021 increased by 35.8% compared to 2019 and the trade volumes increased by 32.7%. Additionally, the slot revenue of the Strip was $409.6 million, which is an increase of 38.7% compared to 2019, and according to Deutsche Bank, the hold was 8.5%, compared to the 8.1% average.
Without taking baccarat in the mix, table revenue was $226.1 million. By comparing year-to-year results, that is a 30.8% increase. Compared to 2019, the hold lowered to 16.5%, while the drop rose 37.7%.
As for baccarat, the volume was 24.7% higher than the one in 2019, the revenue was increased by 114.5%, and the hold was 20.1%, which, according to Deutsche Bank, was way beyond the average of 12.5%.
Excluding poker, the table revenue of the Strip for the month of July was $372.7 million, which is a 63.4% increase year-to-year, and the drop increased to 32.7%. The table hold was 17.3% and, compared to that of July 2019, it was increased. It is also higher than the average of 13.4%.
Clark County also recorded an increase in revenue. In June, the revenue was $1.01 billion, while July resulted in $1.16 billion.
Local casinos didn’t have a dramatic increase, even though they were a driving factor in the process of recovery. Their revenue in July 2021 was $240.8 million and, compared to July 2019’s $212.2 million, it is a 13.4% increase. However, it is lower than the $269.8 million revenue made in June 2020.
The slot revenue in the local market was $197.7 million, which is a 7.8% increase compared to 2019, but the hold was down. The handle increased by 15.3% compared to 2019, while table revenue was $43.1 million for a 48.9% increase to the table revenue in 2019. The hold was also up. Table volume increased by 21.9% compared to 2019, as reported by Deutsche Bank.
The revenue for Downtown Las Vegas in July was $71.2 million, but that is down from the record-breaking revenue that June had, which was $79 million. The numbers in July were still higher by 35.5% than those in July 2019 because Downtown still benefits from Circa Resort & Casino’s opening.
The GGR of Reno was $72.4 million and that is a 26.3% increase to the one of 2019. Throughout the state, sports pools wins were up by 428.6% in July 2021 versus July 2020. In 2021, July had a $33.3 million win, while 2020 resulted in a $27 million win. The drop from sports pools was $409.9 million and that is a 150.5% increase compared to the one of July 2020, which was $246.2 million. Revenue and wins are record-breaking for July 2021. The win increased by 68%, and the sports pool write increased by 35.5% in the first seven months of 2021 versus the first seven months of 2019, as stated by Lawton.
Mobile app sports betting had a total of $242 million in wagers and $13.6 million in wins, while the hold was 5.6%. According to Lawton, the write amount was responsible for 59% of all wagers. Table, card, and counter games’ wins were $486.2 million and the games drop was $2.9 billion. Compared to July 2020, that is a 131% increase in wins and a 112% increase in drop.
Lawton also added that the games win in 2021 was increased by 47.8% compared to July 2019. The drop was also increased by 27.5%. The games win total is the second-highest in the state’s history, only falling behind the one in February 2013, which was $531.4 million.
Baccarat win was $160 million and the drop was $809.9 million. Compared to July 2020, that is a 168.6% increase in win and a 103.9% increase in drop. The hold for this game in 2020 was 15%, while the hold in 2021 was 19.8%. The baccarat win increased by 107.6% and the hold increased by 26.3% year-over-year and the hold-percentage comparison was 12.03%.
July 2021 Had the Highest Slot Win in History
Slot win was also up. In July 2021, the win was $873 million and the coin-in was $12.2 billion. Compared to July 2020, that is a 59.9% and 56.6% increase, respectively. Compared to July 2019, slot win increased by 25.5% and coin-in increased by 25.4%, according to Lawton.
Lawton added that this is the highest slot win in history, which was previously held by the $885 million, set last month. Before that, the record was made in October 2007, when the win was $779.6 million.
As for the coin-in, this was the second-highest in history, trailing only behind the $12.5 billion in March 2007.