I had a busy morning yesterday. Every month, the day that the Nevada Gaming Control Board releases its monthly revenues numbers is a busy one. As usual, I prepared the historical summary for the month in question (November this time) and updated the rolling six-month summary. Here are the highlights and links. First, the monthly historical comparison:
November was good for Nevada’s gaming industry. Most reporting areas saw a second straight month of increases in gaming revenues.
Generally speaking, handle rose along with revenues, indicating an at least modestly rebounding demand for casino gambling. Partially this was
because November 2010 was a particularly bad month, but the increase in several areas indicates a small recovery for the gaming industry.
Statewide, casinos bounced back (+7.06%) from an atrocious November 2010 and then some—this was the strongest November since 2007; though revenues were still well (-10.29%) below their 2007 equivalents, this is a move in the right direction. Slot revenue, handle, and hold percentage all increased, and this pattern held for table games as well. These increases were small but definite, lending credence to the notion of a mild rebound.
Las Vegas Strip revenues grew by 9.02%, driven by slightly (+2.40%) higher slot revenues and what appears to be a major bounce in table play (+17.90%). But this is only because November 2010 was exceptionally weak for table games. It was a decent, but not a great, month when factoring in the favorable comparison. Table handle grew less than 7%, and much of the gain was driven by higher table hold percentage.
Downtown Las Vegas increased revenues by slightly more than the state average (+7.26%), due to high slot win (+4.63%) and especially table win (+17.31%). Much of the table increase was due to higher hold, however, so the actual increase in play is not as dramatic as it first appears.
On the Boulder Strip, total revenues grew by 12.44%, keyed by a 64.47% increase in table win. This was only, however, because November 2010’s hold percentage was just 4.88%; total table play actually fell, but a return to a normal hold made play more profitable for casinos. Slot handle and win increased respectably, indicating continuing strength in the Las Vegas locals market.
Washoe County revenues increased slightly (+1.95%), a welcome respite from the usual decline. This bump was due to higher hold, however, as handle remained nearly constant from last year. Perhaps this indicates a stabilizing trend in Northern Nevada.
Tables for Statewide, Las Vegas Strip, Boulder Strip, and Washoe County follow
Second, the six-month analysis:
Statewide, November built on a strong October, canceling out—and then some—the disappointing
August and September results. It looks like the mini-downturn of the late summer has reversed, which
bodes well for strong December.
The Las Vegas Strip now has five out of six months in positive territory. Particularly impressive are the
three months of double-digit gains and one near double-digit increase (November). Slot revenues have
increased in each month in the period, with table revenues less consistent, but still showing an overall
increase. The Strip is moving in the right direction, albeit, in the case of slot machines slowly, and in the
case of table games, inconsistently.
Downtown Las Vegas now has an overall positive trend for the past half-year, with four out of six
months showing increases in revenue for tables and slots. This may be the long-awaited Downtown
turnaround. Consistent improvements in slot revenue are the key, looking ahead, for future growth.
The Boulder Strip continues to impress relative to the rest of the state, with a revenue increase well
above the statewide average. While the overall economic indicators for the Las Vegas Valley continue to
remain flat or worse, this reporting area is outperforming its expectations.
Washoe County appears to be stabilizing. Three out of the past six months have seen slight (less than
2%) revenue increases, which may be a signal that the decade-long slide of Northern Nevada’s gaming
revenues might have reached bottom. There doesn’t appear to much room for growth, but this market
may be through the worst of its contraction.
Tables for Statewide, Las Vegas Strip, Downtown Las Vegas, Boulder Strip, and Washoe County follow
And finally, I took a look at exactly what the numbers mean on Two Way Hard Three:
This appears, at first blush, to be a good month for Nevada casinos with no qualifications. There were, however, a few qualifications, though November was still a net positive for the state and the industry.
First, lets put November in context. The state’s gaming industry has been on a bit of a roller coaster, with an apparent recovery trend through much of the first half of 2011 ended by two consecutive months of declines (August, September). Then came October, which had an 8.12% increase in year/year revenues. Some started to believe that the recovery was back on track.
November makes it more likely that the state can anticipate further (modest) growth in its gaming industry. For the month, the state had a 7.06% increase in gaming revenues. And nearly every major reporting area posted positive results. For the first time in as long as I can remember, all five of the reporting areas I look at for my monthly reports (Statewide, Las Vegas Strip, Downtown Las Vegas, Boulder Strip, Washoe County) reported gains. That in and of itself is good news.
That’s what I think. Share any of your opinions in the comments.