The Nevada casino industry was setting annual gaming revenue records statewide and on the Strip when the November numbers were tallied.
December’s answer? “Not so fast.”
Buoyed by a one-month record for the Strip in December, Nevada ended 2022 with more than $14.8 billion in gaming revenue, surpassing 2021’s $13.4 billion by 10.5 percent, the state said Gaming Control Board on Tuesday with.
The strip accounted for more than $8.2 billion of the state total this year, up 17.1 percent from $7.1 billion last year.
The Strip’s December total revenue of nearly $814.2 million was boosted by a special calendar of events featuring two Las Vegas Raiders games, the PAC-12 championship football game, the National Finals Rodeo and a UFC fight. $405 million in slot machine revenue and $146 million in baccarat winnings boosted the Strip’s December tally by more than 25 percent from a year earlier.
“The Strip accounted for most of the nationwide increase in December,” said the Control Board’s senior economic analyst Michael Lawton. “The state’s combined markets outside Gaza are up just 0.2 percent, or $914,000, compared to December 2021.”
Nevada has had gaming revenues of $1 billion or more for 22 consecutive months. During the streak, the state of Nevada’s monthly gaming revenue surpassed the previous statewide record of $1.16 billion set in 15 separate months in October 2007, including the current single-month record of $1.36 billion in July 2021 .
Lawton suggested that monthly increases in gaming revenue could moderate over the course of 2023. The regulator told the state’s business forum in December that the gaming revenue model’s monthly projections for the coming year show a statewide decline in gaming revenue of about 1.5 percent, with strip revenue showing no increase.
“Flat to moderate growth is good if we stay close to where we are now,” Lawton said. “If we miss 1 or 2 percent, that’s still strong numbers compared to 2019.”
He said external variables, such as what the Federal Reserve does with interest rates, will affect Nevada’s revenue. On the plus side, new special events, such as the first Formula 1 race in November, could increase overall revenue from the game.
Regardless, Lawton said the January and February numbers should increase for 2023 versus 2022 when results were somewhat blunted due to the Omicron variant.
Gaming revenue is on the rise across the country
In addition to the Strip, nine of Nevada’s 18 submarkets posted record 2022 revenues, including downtown Las Vegas and the combined areas that make up the local Las Vegas casino sector.
Clark County saw an 11.8 percent increase in gaming revenue to nearly $12.8 billion in 2022 — which would match the statewide gaming revenue of 2007, which was considered an all-time record through 2021.
Downtown Las Vegas casinos recorded revenue of $880.2 million, up 4.5 percent year-over-year, and the combined local market topped more than $2.9 billion, an increase of 2.4 percent.
The Boulder Strip, which includes casinos in Henderson, was the only region in the state where gaming revenue fell in 2022, though the $966.7 million figure was less than 1 percent below the all-time record of 967.5 million US dollars in 2021. Lawton indicated that since the month ended on a weekend, the market’s earnings were impacted by the timing of slot earnings.
“The Boulder Strip market remains very healthy,” Lawton said.
The major gaming markets of northern Nevada did not set records in 2022 but surpassed their 2021 totals. Washoe County made more than $1 billion for the second straight year, up 2.4 percent. Reno Casinos increased revenue by 2.1 percent to $743.8 million.
Sparks, which saw the opening of Legends Bay Casino in August, increased gaming revenue by 3.6 percent to $172.8 million.
Record year for sports betting
The Nevada sports betting industry set a record of $446.7 million in revenue and $8.7 billion in total stakes in 2022, breaking the previous record set in 2021. The figures were announced the same day, at Massachusetts became the 33rd state with legal sports betting, an industry Nevada monopolyed almost five years ago.
Mobile sports betting continued to expand in Nevada, accounting for nearly half of all revenue and $5.9 billion, or 68.3 percent of all sports betting. The wagering amount increased from 64.6 percent a year ago.
“Continued consumer adoption of mobile sports betting is the catalyst behind these results,” Lawton said.
Unlike most sports betting states, Nevada still requires customers to register for a mobile account in person at a casino rather than remotely.
(This story is updated with Las Vegas tourism numbers and Harry Reid International Airport passenger numbers.)