Nevada gaming win of $1B reaches highest level in 2018

Conventioneers play the Madonna slot machine at the Aristocrat booth at the 18th annual Global Gaming Expo at Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

State gaming win was back to its billion-dollar ways in October, one year after the beginning of a mini-slump.

The state Gaming Control Board on Tuesday reported gaming win of $1.063 billion and Clark County contributed $926.5 million of that.

It was the highest state and county win levels of the calendar year and the fifth time the state has surpassed the $1 billion mark in 2018, the most since 2008.

Strip win was up 12.2 percent to $593.4 million over October 2017, the month when tourism took a beating as a result of the worst mass shooting in modern history at Mandalay Bay on Oct. 1.

It was 40th time the state has recorded more than $1 billion in monthly win, a level first achieved in March 2005. The highest monthly win ever came in October 2007 when the state recorded $1.165 billion.

Downtown Las Vegas win was flat for the month, up 0.3 percent to $63.8 million. The Boulder Strip was off 0.6 percent to $78.3 million, but Laughlin was up 12.1 percent to $47 million.

The strong October numbers helped reverse a trend of sluggish win totals for Clark County and the Strip.

The three-month gaming revenue trend for the Strip, generally a more revealing gauge of win activity because it eliminates volatile swings resulting from calendar comparisons, shows win down 1.46 percent for August, September and October compared with those months in 2017. For Clark County, the three-month trend is off 0.03 percent.

The seventh-best win total in state history for blackjack countered weak baccarat hold in October, according to Michael Lawton, senior research analyst for the Tax and License Division of the Control Board.

“Game and table win of $369.3 million was up 10.8 percent or $36.1 million,” Lawton said. “Slots also had a good month, with $693.5 million in win, up 5.8 percent or $37.7 million. Slots are up 3.5 percent for the calendar year and all major markets are in positive territory.”

October visitation also was strong compared with the weakened October 2017 numbers.

Southern Nevada showed the best monthly year-over-year percentage increase of 2018 in October and it was the second-best month in most statistical categories. Visitation was up 2.1 percent to 3.68 million people for the month.

Convention attendance was off 3.1 percent to 665,600 compared with October 2017’s record performance.

Citywide occupancy rates were up 1.4 percentage points to 91.4 percent in October and the average daily room rate climbed 2.6 percent to $142.43 a night.

Auto traffic on major highways into Las Vegas was up 7.4 percent to 120,635 vehicles per day in October. Traffic into Las Vegas includes vehicles operated by local residents and the Nevada Department of Transportation, since September, included incoming traffic on the new Interstate 11 entry from Arizona.

After 10 months, visitor volume is off 1 percent to 35.4 million in 2017.

Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta or. Follow on Twitter.

October tourism indicators

October 2018 October 2017 Change

Visitor volume 3.68 million 3.6 million +2.1%

Citywide occupancy 91.4% 90% +1.4 points

Average daily

room rate $142.43 $138.80 +2.6%

Room nights occupied 4.182 million 4.091 million +2.2%

Convention attendance 665,600 687,200 -3.1%

Air passengers Pending 4.339 million —

Average daily highway

auto traffic 120,635 112,450 +7.4%

Clark County

gaming revenue $926.5 million $854.5 million +8.4%

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