Nevada Casinos Derive 42.4% of Revenues from Gambling in 2017

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Nevada Casinos Derive 42.4% of Revenues from Gambling in 2017

Last year, Nevada’s casinos generated $26.2 billion in revenue, beating the previous record of $25 billion set in 2007 just before the Great Recession caused a downtrend in the industry. Furthermore, gambling revenues accounted for just 42.4% of their total business, down from last year’s figure of 42.6%, and commenting upon the development, Michael Lawton, Senior research analyst with the Tax and License Division of the Gaming Control Board, stated:

“Nevada has put the recession behind it largely thanks to non-gaming spending on rooms, food and drinks, and other attractions. Gaming did not have a bad year. In fact, it had a good year and a nice increase, but definitely not record levels like non-gaming spending.”

2017 a Record Year

Last year’s results were recorded in a report produced by the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) called the ‘Abstract Report’, which contains financial data on those state casinos generating more than $1 million in annual gaming revenue.  In 2017, there were 272 such casinos, with 161 of them located within Clark County, which includes Las Vegas. Furthermore, there were 62 casinos which managed to gross more than $12 million each, with these public company owned businesses accounting for 72.5% of the whole industry.

$11.1BN from Gambling

In terms of gambling alone, the state’s casinos generated a collective $11.1 billion, which means that revenues have increased for six out of of the last seven years, although it still remains 11% lower than the level recorded in 2007. From that tally, $852.2 million was then collected by way of taxes and license fees, up by 7.7% versus 2016.

Casinos situated on the Las Vegas Strip produced revenues of $17.8 billion, up 3.9% year-on-year, of which $814 million represented profit, marking a huge 191.4% improvement compared to the previous year. As a result, gambling currently commands a 34% share of the Strip’s overall revenue, representing its lowest percentage ever.

Breaking the figures down further, slots accounted for 63.4% of all gambling revenues across the whole of Clark County, followed by table games (32.6%), sportsbooks (2.1%), and poker (0.5%).

Non-Gaming Revenues

Back in 1984, Nevada’s gambling revenues accounted for a 61.9% share of all its casino business. The Silver State has pioneered the way in terms of presenting a well rounded tourist attraction for its visitors, though, and in 2017 its non-gambling products accounted for 57.6% of the $26.2 billion in revenues collected.

Furthermore, the products included within this segment all hit record highs last year, including hotel room revenue up by 23.6% to $6.16 billion, food sales up 14.9% to $3.89 billion, beverages up by 6.9% to $1.8 billion, and “other” category up 12.2% to $3.2 billion. Commenting upon the impressive numbers, Lawton explained:

“What that means is that rooms, food, beverage and other, accounted for 57.6 percent of total revenue, which is the highest combined share ever recorded in the abstract.. [Fiscal year 2004] was the last time gaming accounted for greater than 50 percent of the statewide total.”

Nevada Gaming Control Board

This year has also provided another first for Nevada’s gambling industry after State Senator Becky Harris was appointed chairwoman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board. As a result, she not only becomes the first female to fill the post, but also only the second women to sit on the Control Board, the first being Patty Becker in 1983. This is in spite of more than six decades of its existence, with the body having been created in 1955, in part due to concerns over organized crime in the industry.

Sen. Becky Harris (R-Las Vegas) was chosen by Gov. Brian Sandoval to replace AG Burnett, who left at the end of 2017 to take up a position at a private law firm in Reno. Commenting upon her appointment, Sandoval said:

“Nevada’s gaming regulatory structure is the best in the world and it is imperative that the public servants who serve on this commission are beyond reproach and willing to make difficult decisions.”

Amongst those topics which are likely to be high on Harris’s agenda this year will be security issues, especially in light of the attack which took place on the Strip at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in October. Other issues will also include a potential nationwide sports betting expansion, as well as trying to resolve legal marijuana versus a federal ban in the state, whilst trying to accommodate those casinos interested in allowing their customers to partake.

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