August was another good month for casinos and other gaming properties in Nevada. For the sixth consecutive month, the market collectively reported gross gaming revenue (GGR) of more than $1 billion, helping the Silver State continue to rebuild following the COVID-19 disaster. The Strip provided much of the boost, as entertainment venues came back to life and served as a gateway to the casinos in Las Vegas.
Nevada on the Rebound
According to data from the Nevada Gaming Control Board, August saw Strip casinos report a combined $625.6 million in revenue. This was a 97% increase over what they reported a year earlier, when casinos everywhere were operating under severe restrictions in an attempt to thwart COVID-19’s efforts to spread. However, the figure is also 20.2% higher than it was in August 2019, a better year for making a comparison. For that month, the revenue had been $520.7 million.
Across the Silver State, casinos and gaming properties reported a combined $1.16 billion for August, 57% higher than a year earlier and 22.3% higher than two years ago. The figure was slightly lower than that of July, however, when the market raked in $1.35 billion. With this August’s results giving Nevada a six-month record run on revenue, the state is on track to beat its longest streak of more than $1 billion in gaming revenue. That occurred across an eight-month period from November 2006 to May 2007.
Strip’s Time to Shine
The Strip’s gaming revenue dipped slightly in the first eight months of the year, but August and the rest of the third quarter helped give it a boost. Compared to 2019, The Strip lost 0.7%, while Downtown Las Vegas improved by 23.2%. For August, Downtown reported revenue of $64.1 million, 80.5% higher than last year and 41.7% higher than two years ago. However, the figure was still lower than that of June and July, which recorded $79 million and $71.2 million, respectively. June’s result was a record for the Downtown area.
According to Deutsche Bank analysts, The Strip increased its third-quarter revenue by 33.6% compared to two years prior. Slot revenue increased by 38.5%, baccarat revenue by 45.5% and other table revenue by 19.4%. Those increases came even as the number of Las Vegas visitors dipped. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority announced yesterday that 2.99 million people dropped in on Vegas in August, 9.2% fewer than in July and 16% fewer than August 2019. Despite the retreat, those that took the trip were apparently ready to spend more money.
In August, Clark County took in $993.4 million in revenue for a 67% jump over last year. Reno improved, as well, adding 19.1% with its $65.5 million. That figure, however, was only 1.5% better than two years earlier. Elsewhere, the Caldor Fire had an impact on the activity in and around Lake Tahoe, with North Lake Tahoe slot activity losing 7.9% compared to 2019 and South Lake Tahoe slot action dropping 16.8%. Table game volume slipped, also, losing around 23% compared to August 2019.