Nevada casinos closed out the year on a high note, earning $1.03b in gaming revenue in December, 9.6% higher than in December 2012. The late surge pushed 2013’s total gaming revenue to $11.14b, up 2.6% over 2012 and the best annual tally since 2008 (but still only a quarter of Macau’s 2013 take). The all-time Nevada record was $12.8b in pre-recession 2007. Casinos on the Las Vegas Strip saw annual revenue rise 4.8% to $6.5b, shy of 2007’s $6.8b but the Strip’s percentage of total statewide win hit 58.4%, the highest on record.
In what has become a Nevada Gaming Control Board mantra, the state’s fortunes were driven by baccarat, which brought in a record $1.6b last year, up 16.2% over 2012. Baccarat accounted for 14.3% of statewide gaming win – 24.4% of Strip casino win – and 36.4% of overall table game revenue. Meanwhile, annual statewide slots revenue came in at $6.75b, still good enough for a healthy 60.6% slice of the total gaming pie but the smallest such slice in 23 years.
December’s slots win was up 13.3% to $557.7m, with higher hold overcoming a 3% drop in handle. Baccarat handle was also down, but win rose 28.2% to $243m, over half the total table game win of $466.6m and the second highest baccarat win ever. Blackjack barely managed a third of baccarat’s win at $82.1m (-13.2%), while craps and roulette were well back of the leaders at $30.2m (-9.6%) and $28.7m (-21%) respectively. The rest of the table games finished thusly: three-card poker ($11.8m, -9.5%), mini-baccarat ($10.4m, +10%), pai gow poker ($10m, -3.8%), let it ride ($2.9m, -14.4%), keno $2.2m, +7% and pai gow ($1.3m, -22.6%).
Poker revenue dipped 1.4% to $9.7m. State regulators are sticking with their edict of not breaking out online poker revenues until a third operator launches its online product, but Union Gaming Group analyst Robert Shore suggested that by isolating the Clark County poker numbers, one can reasonably attribute most of the 13.2% year-on-year increase (around $200k) to online operations.
Nevada’s sportsbooks saw December revenue fall 6.1% to $28.4m. Football revenue took a beating, falling 29.6% to $19.1m despite a 7.2% hold. Basketball win surged 189% to $6.8m, while parlay cards added another $2.8m. For 2013 as a whole, Nevada books enjoyed a record handle of $3.6b. Football accounted for $1.6b of this total, from which the books managed to hold $80.8m, up 18% over 2012. Basketball win came to $59.2m (+23.6%), baseball brought in $29.1m (-3.4%), parlay cards won $20m (+47%) and other sports earned $13.8m (+37.2%).