Nevada’s gambling operators managed to make $1bn from gamblers during October. That is a significant improvement compared with their performance this year to date.
It is also an improvement year on year – a 7.5% increase in comparison to October 2017 – and the operators will be hoping that they can continue in this vein until the end of the year.
The exact figures brought in by casinos in October were $1.06bn, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
Revenues picking up
A key reason for last year’s lower revenues was the mass shooting that took place in Las Vegas during a music festival. That led to a significant dip in the number of tourists visiting the region.
This is the fifth occasion that the casinos have passed the $1bn revenue mark for a month period in 2018, and the first time since May. It is also the best performing month the city has seen since February 2013.
This may be a sign that things are starting to pick up, as most of the third quarter was poor and not much was happening, with revenues dropping two months in a row.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board’s senior analyst Michael Lawton said: “It was a great month, especially coming off that difficult third quarter. It’s nice to start the fourth quarter with a month like this.”
A large reason for the increase in revenues in Vegas, according to Lawton, is down to the casinos’ table games, rather than slot machines or baccarat, which are the usual high earners for the casinos on the Strip. High rollers in particular love to play baccarat, which is why revenues are always decent for this game.
Breakdown of the results
One area of revenue that did suffer during the month was sports betting. This was a trend seen throughout US states where sports betting is legal.
This was largely due to American football results going the way of the bettors for the most part. Bettors won an extra $18m from football games in comparison with September, which is a 28.3% decline in operators’ football revenues from their intake of $342m.
The total sports betting revenue for October was $28.7m, down from $56.3m during September, which was a record for Las Vegas.
In terms of intake, these figures fell slightly from the high of $571m in September to $530m in October.
Baseball intake for October was $74m, with the sportsbooks being up $8.2m for these markets. Basketball betting hit $51m and revenues fell slightly to $3.7m. As there is no differential between mobile and offline betting in Nevada’s figures, there is no way of knowing how each of these sports betting methods performed.
In terms of the entire gaming win for October, slot machines made up 65.2%, having taken in $694m, a rise of 5.8% in comparison with October 2017. There was also a lot of growth in blackjack revenues, increasing by more than 40% year on year and passing the $125m mark in October.
Roulette winnings rose by 21.6% up to $440.4m, and craps rose 8% up to $32m. Baccarat winnings dropped by 13% down to $76m, but the game still holds its spot as the second best earner for the casinos in Nevada.
Recent drops in other states
Along with Nevada, a number of other states saw significant drops in revenues during October. The operators’ revenues for sports betting in New Jersey during October fell by more than half to $11.7m, down from $24m in September.
This was despite their intake of sports bets increasing by a massive 40% to more than $260m. Mississippi saw a similar trend, with the intake increasing to $33m, but the revenues falling to $1.2m in October from $5.5m in September.
For the most part, these drops can be attributed to results going the right way for the punters. The figures for November’s intakes and revenues will be interesting when compared with October. If the same trend persists, deeper investigation may be needed.