April was another impressively profitable month for Nevada as the state collected $1.1 billion in gaming revenue. This was the 14th month in a row that exceeded the $1 billion thresholds. Major crowd-drawing events and increased international visitors contributed to a 20.5% increase from pre-pandemic numbers, but May could mark the end of the billion streaks.
A Variety of Positive Factors Contributed to a Very Strong April Showing
“The Strip’s results benefited from strong demand for gaming activity, and consumers continued to display resiliency as their behavior remained consistent across multiple customer segments,” commented Michael Lawton, a senior Las Vegas economic analyst. He attributed April’s strong showing to a very robust event calendar and the continued return of international visitors.
Two major events were in no small part responsible for the 4.25 million passengers who passed through Harry Reid International Airport. The first was the famous Korean pop band BTS, who held their Permission to Dance On Stage concert at Allegiant Stadium for two weekends and managed to gather approximately 200,000 people. The second significant event was the annual NFL draft, which lasted for three days and was attended by more than 300,000 fans. To top things off, Las Vegas’ Palms Casino Resort finally reopened after a $690 million renovation to public fanfare.
The Momentum May Not Carry On into Next Month
According to a report by Deutsche Bank, May could mark an 8% decline in gaming revenue compared to 2021. With a lack of high-profile events compared to April, average daily traffic on the Strip in May was down about 13% compared to the previous month. The biggest special event in May was Electric Daisy Carnival, a three-day electronic dance music festival, that averaged 166,000 people per night and resulted in 39 arrests by the Las Vegas police department.
Carlo Santarelli, another Deutsche Bank analyst, predicted further volatility in May resulting from the fewer weekend dates – two fewer compared to April. It is not all bad news for Nevada, however. Off the strip, casinos that predominantly cater to locals will benefit from an 11.9% gain over May 2021 and a 40.1% increase versus 2019’s numbers. According to Deutsche Bank, daily traffic in the locals’ market experienced a monthly increase of about 10% in May. This is a solid improvement compared to the previous month when gaming revenue declined by 3.2%.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board is expected to announce gaming revenue statistics in late June when it will become clear whether May will be the 15th month in a row to score revenue for Nevada exceeding $1 Billion despite its somewhat subpar results.