Nevada casinos closed out 2019 by topping the $1b gaming revenue mark in December, pushing its full-year total to its third-highest on record.
Figures released Thursday by the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) show statewide casino gaming revenue of $1.057b in December, a 5.8% rise over the same month last year. Casinos on the Las Vegas Strip were up 4.5% to $591.8m.
December’s bounty pushed the FY19 revenue total to $12.03b, the third-highest annual total in the state’s history and the fifth consecutive year of annual improvements. The state’s revenue high-water mark was $12.8b in 2007, the last year before the global financial meltdown commenced in earnest.
December’s gains were entirely driven by its slot machines, which reported revenue up 10.1% to $700.1m. For the year as a whole, slots revenue was up nearly 2.9% to $7.93b. December’s ‘table, counter and card games’ segment dipped 1.7% to $357.4m, while the full-year figure was down 2.5% to $4.1b.
December’s table decline was driven by baccarat, which was down more than one-quarter year-on-year to $76.1m. Baccarat’s full-year revenue fell 13% to $1.05b as betting volume fell nearly 17%, mimicking similar declines in Macau’s baccarat performance in 2019.
December’s blackjack revenue jumped by one-fifth to $107.3m, although its FY19 figure was down nearly 3% to $1.11b. Craps had an equally strong December, rising 17.5% to $38.1m while roulette dipped 6.4% to $25.6m.
The state’s sports betting operators reported revenue of $36.3m in December, a 17.6% decline from December 2018. Football drove the decline, falling nearly one-quarter to $23.7m, while parlay cards fell 62% to $1.13m. Basketball fared far better, jumping 44.3% to $11.1m.
For 2019 as a whole, sports betting revenue rose 9.5% to a record $329.1m on a win rate of 6.2%. Annual betting handle was up 6.1% to $5.3b, also a record and the 10th straight year of record handle.
Nevada’s FY19 performance surpassed that of its upstart rival in New Jersey, where licensed sportsbooks reported handle of just under $4.6b and revenue of $299.4m in the state’s first full year of legal wagering. Nearly 84% of New Jersey’s wagering occurs via digital and, while the NGCB doesn’t currently report a digital/land-based split, the regulator is poised to start offering such data in 2020.