Gaming wins continue for Nevada casinos in February, with revenues reaching past the $1 billion mark for the second month in a row—thanks to revellers visiting America’s playground to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
Figures released Wednesday by the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) showed that state-wide gaming revenue hit $1.02 billion in February, a 7.7% increase from the same period in 2017. This is the first time that Nevada achieved a back-to-back billion-dollar performance since March and April 2008.
For the fiscal year beginning July 2017 until February 2018, Nevada’s “gaming win” has risen to $7.9 billion, a 2.3% increase from the close to $7.7 billion reported in the 2016-2017 period.
The Las Vegas Strip posted its first monthly gain since the October shooting, logging winnings of over $603 million for February—an 11.37% jump from the same period last year.
Michael Lawton, senior research analyst for the Tax and License Division of NGCB, attributed February’s gaming wins to the “big baccarat win” on the Strip, which was up 82.5% to $79.7 million. In an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Lawton said “this February was much stronger than last February due to Chinese New Year falling in January” in 2017.
Nevada sportsbooks’ stellar performance came to halt in February, with overall revenue down 48% to $10.7 million compared to the $20.7 million posted in February 2017. This, however, still makes it the 55th consecutive winning month for the state’s sportsbooks, which experienced its last losing month in July 2013.
Football wagering dropped 136.35% year-on-year to less than $2.5 million, but basketball wagering revenue inched 0.68% to reach $11.6 million. Sports parlay cards was down 58% to $449,000, while sports pari-mutuel dropped 71% to $4,000. Nevada’s “other” betting category was also down 7.57% to $1.39 million.
Statewide slots revenue posted a modest 4.17% increase to reach $605.58 million in February, while total games and tables were up 13.27% to $412.33 million. Several major tables, however, reported declines, including blackjack ($88 million, -17.22%), craps ($31.2 million, -12.33%), and roulette ($36.4 million, -5.55%).
Overall, the gaming regulator said the state collected close to $44.2 million in percentage fees based on the taxable revenues generated in February. This was a 14.99% drop from the prior year’s March period, when Nevada fee collections reached close to $52 million.
The NGCB, however, noted that the amount did not reflect the $8.75 million in transferable tax credits used in March or the total amount of tax credits taken fiscal-year-to-date, which amounted to $65.8 million.