Key data revealed by the August Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) which was released this week indicates that Las Vegas Strip casinos gained more than $520 million last month. A 9% increase from July. Strip casinos credited strong blackjack, craps, and roulette play for the gain, with blackjack GGR totalling $73 million, craps $67 million, and roulette $23.9 million. Moreover, the table games reported a healthy volume and hold percentages, leading year-over-year gains of 20%, 67%, and 43%. Baccarat win increased six percent to $97.5 million. According to Nevada Gaming Control Board Senior Research Analyst Michael Lawton, “the Strip continued to see strong slot play, with a 5.2% increase in volume and a 1.6% increase in win,” he added, “the Strip has only recorded one decrease in slot volume and win this calendar year.”
August marked Las Vegas Strip’s third consecutive GGR monthly win
Overall, Nevada casinos witnessed an increase of 4.3% amounting to $952 million. The evident increase in GGR over the past three months came after the Strip recorded six months of gaming revenue declines. September 2019 will present a difficult comparable, as the month has only four Saturdays compared to five Saturdays last year. Stifel gaming analyst Steven Wieczynski believes that “ongoing capital investment, business relocation from California and the resulting population growth should create a market capable of delivering superior gross gaming growth as compared to the U.S. regional average.”
Sportsbooks did very well over the month of August, thanks to football. Sportsbooks jumped 111%, keeping more than $6.6 million. Nevada sports revenue totalled $18.7% (+48.7%). Oddsmakers scored big on football, with the sport totalling $12.6 million. Baseball was next, contributing $6.7 million.
Tourism on the rise
Along with a strong three months on casino floors, officials at McCarran International Airport reported an increased traffic volume, up 3.1% last month. With more than 4.4 million passengers travelling through the airport in August. McCarran International Airport has been experiencing volume increases in the previous 11 months, setting them up to again achieve their busiest year on record. LVCVA Director of Research Scott Russell mainly attributed the increase in numbers by the one extra weekend day driving traffic.
While the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) reported that “August visitor volume totalled 3.56 million last month, a 0.7% bump.” According to Joseph Greff of New York-based J.P. Morgan, “convention attendance in August was up 1.7 percent year over year with the rotation of some larger shows in and out of Las Vegas largely offsetting one another, and an increase in small and mid-size meetings,” adding that “for the third quarter 2019 to date, visitation is tracking up 0.7% year over year and convention attendance is tracking up 9.7% year over year.” Finally, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that “unemployment in the Las Vegas-Paradise metered market fell by 0.1% between June and July, around 4. to-4.7%.