Nevada casino gaming revenue fell just shy of that magical monthly benchmark of $1b in July, despite double-digit declines in some major table games.
Figures released Wednesday by the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) showed statewide casino gaming revenue hitting just under $998m, a 1.7% decline from the same month last year but over $100k more than the casinos earned in June 2017.
The gains came despite casinos on the Las Vegas Strip reporting revenue falling 7.7% year-on-year to $565.6m. Virtually the entire rest of the state was in positive territory, led by the Boulder Strip, which reported revenue up nearly one-fifth to $66.4m.
Slot machine revenue did its part to boost July’s numbers, rising 5.1% to $632.1m. But table games played spoiler, falling 11.7% to $365.8m, led by double-digit declines at baccarat ($120.9m, -19.6%), blackjack ($100m, -12.2%) and roulette ($32.4m, -14.3%). Craps played contrarian, rising 19% to $40.4m, while the second half of the World Series of Poker gave poker revenue a modest 1% bump to $12.4m.
Total sportsbook revenue fell 95.3% to just $524k – their lowest monthly profit since July 2014 – as betting hold fell to a pitiful 0.24%. The only net positive for the books in July was football, which shot up 368% to $627k, while the pari-mutuel fantasy operations of US Fantasy Sports generated a mere $9k.
That piddling fantasy result was infinitely preferable to what happened to basketball, which produced a net loss of nearly $4m as laggard bettors cashed outstanding tickets. All other categories were also down year-on-year, led by ‘other’ sports ($2.1m, -10%), baseball ($1.7m, -85.7%) and parlay cards ($36k, -61.7%).
Next month will reveal just how much the sportsbooks earned from the Mayweather-McGregor tilt. While the fight will almost certainly top Nevada records for boxing betting handle, anecdotal reports suggest that handle may have topped $100m, putting it on par with the past four Super Bowls as the only sporting events to have eclipsed that mark in Nevada. The books have also suggested they held a healthy percentage of that handle, meaning August’s revenue number could be one for the record books.