Nevada’s gaming industry bounced back in a big way in March, with the Silver State’s casinos enjoying their best month in almost a decade.
Gaming win came in at $1.066 billion last month, according to monthly statistics released April 27 by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, marking a 72.6%, $449 million increase over March 2020, when casinos were ordered closed halfway through the month by Gov. Steve Sisolak.
While a massive year-over-year increase was to be expected due to the pandemic, Gaming Control Board analyst Mike Lawton said March’s win total was the highest recorded since February 2013. Notably, several reporting areas in the state reported all-time win records in March.
For example, gaming win for March in the Carson Valley reporting area — which includes valley portions of Douglas County as well as Carson City — was $11.97 million, the area’s highest-ever monthly tally. It’s also a 130.3% increase over last March when those casinos brought in just $5.2 million.
Carson wasn’t alone. Elko County, Downtown Las Vegas, the Boulder Strip and the balance of Clark County also set all-time win records in March, according to the state.
March 2021 Gaming Win: By The NumbersArea:
Win (Percentage Change from March 2020)Statewide:
$1.066 billion (72.66%)Carson Valley:
$11.977 million (130.3%)South Shore:
$24.08 million (166%)North Shore:
$2.032 million (176.2%)Washoe County:
$83.02 million (152.5%)Reno:
$59.02 million (163.7%)Sparks:
$14.8 million (137.29%)Balance of Washoe County:
$7.3 million (104.16%)Clark County:
$893.24 million (63.4%)The Strip:
$501.45 million (67.21%)Downtown Las Vegas:
$71.9 million (63.69%)Boulder Strip:
$96.6 million (34.73%)Balance of Clark County:
$133.6 million (86.47%)Elko County:
$34.0 million (130.87%)Wendover:
$22.7 million (168.60%)Source: Nevada Gaming Control Board; go here for full reports.
Washoe County’s total win was $83.1 million, a whopping 152.6% increase from the $32.9 million those casinos won in March 2020. Of that total, $59 million was from Reno casinos, up 163.7% from last year’s total of just $22.4 million.
South Tahoe casinos at Stateline saw an increase of 166% from a year earlier to more than $24 million. Likewise, the four North Shore casinos in Incline Village and Crystal Bay enjoyed a 176% increase, winning a bit more than $2 million last month, compared to a measly $735,827 a year ago.
Churchill County reported $2.5 million in win, a 111% increase from last year.
While most rural markets and greater Reno-Sparks have been recovering steadily since casinos reopened nine months ago, the Las Vegas Strip has been the sore spot, limping along at just over half the win before the pandemic. But in March, the Strip reported a 67.2% increase compared to last March, raking in $501.4 million compared to $299.9 million.
Breaking things down by game, slot win increased 64.8% in March across the state, accounting for $772 million of the total. Lawton said that is the second highest total slot win in state history. Baccarat win was up as well, but by a more modest 58.5% to $68.2 million.
Meanwhile, despite the massive YOY growth in March, for the current fiscal year (July 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021), gaming win is down 17.74%.
Next month’s totals figure to be astronomical YOY increases, since all casinos were shut down entirely for the month of April.
The Nevada Appeal’s Geoff Dornan contributed to this report.