In early 2020, experts foresaw a grim future for the gambling industry due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. However, the industry’s bounce back proved much faster than expected. In 2021, Nevada had its best year ever, with the state generating over $13.4 billion in revenue. February 2022 marked the twelfth consecutive month that Nevada pulled in over $1 billion in revenues. The $1.1 billion it raked in from these 28 days surpassed Nevada’s previous record set in January.
Nevada’s February 2022 revenue generation of $1.1 billion represented a 44% increase year-on-year. Many credited this to the high number of concerts in Sin City, paired with a sports betting frenzy related to the Super Bowl and the city hosting the NHL All-Star Game. However, some analysts, including Nevada Gaming Control Board’s Micheal Lawton, believe that Nevada’s highly successful streak will end soon due to inflation and rising gas prices as a result of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Despite these concerns, various casino directors are confident that March Madness, the NCAA College Basketball Tournament, will create enough interest in the third month of 2022 to carry over February’s momentum to March. Slot machines were the top contributors to Nevada’s gaming revenues, with a widely held belief that slots generate 60% to 80% of any venue’s gaming revenues.
In 2021, Nevada’s reel-spinning games brought in revenues of $9.2 billion, a record for slots. Slot machines contributed $764 million to the monthly return of $1.1 billion in February 2022. Furthermore, table, counter, and card games delivered $348.8 million to February’s total revenue.
Looking ahead, Fitch Ratings and Global Market Advisors predict a strong recovery for the industry in 2022. However, it is important to note that while sector numbers seem high, the industry has not made a full recovery yet. Segments like international travel and business are still not back to pre-pandemic levels and are not expected to fully recover until at least 2024.