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US – Nevada bounces back from pandemic with best ever GGR in May

By - 1 July 2021

Nevada set an all-time record for gaming win in May generating $1.23bn, 25 per cent more than May 2019 and smashing the previous record of $1.17bn from October 2007.

Michael Lawton, a senior research analyst for the Nevada Gaming Control Board said: “May 2021 represents an all-time record for gaming win in Nevada and Clark County, the result of an all-time record slot win in addition to a very good baccarat month. All markets were up versus 2019, which can be attributed to strong demand, healthy consumers, and leisure travel beginning to rebound. We are surprised that we hit $1bn three months in a row.

“There is a strong demand, consumers are extremely healthy and vitalization to the Strip is rebounding,” he added. “The local and regional casinos are helping save the state and keeping its head above water. But the Strip is starting to deliver increases. It went from a single digit decrease in the month of March compared to March 2019, to a small increase in April to now a double digit increase in May. That bodes well for the Strip.”

May was also the third straight month Nevada generated $1bn in gaming revenue.

“The last time we did three months in a row was September through December in 2019,” Mr. Lawton added. “The last time we did four months in a row was December 2007 through April 2008, right before the Recession.”

Colin Mansfield, an analyst at Fitch Ratings who covers Las Vegas said: “This reiterates our view that the domestic gaming recovery is firming up. Vegas still lacks international visitation which will help in a more lagged recovery than domestic and leisure gaming.”

The Las Vegas Strip generated $655.4m in revenue in May, 26.7 per cent more than May 2019’s $517.3m. The record slot win on the Strip of $358.3 million was up 24.5% ($70.4m compared to May 2019, Lawton said.

Whilst visitors are beginning to return with 2.87m visitors in May, up 12 per cent than April, the figures are still lagging 22 per cent visitation levels in May 2019. Much of this could be explained by the complete lack of convention visitors in May 2021 compared to 520,800 convention visitors in May 2019. International visitation was down 300,000 in May.

Downtown enjoyed its second highest revenue-earning month of all time at $75.2m, just below April’s $76.3m.

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