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Las Vegas Enjoys a Record February Amidst Leap Year Boost

Discover how Las Vegas casinos shattered records in February, fueled by a perfect storm of events including a leap year bonus day and the hosting of the Super Bowl. With a surge in gaming revenue, dominated by table games, and soaring hotel occupancy rates, the city reaffirms its status as a global entertainment powerhouse.
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Branimir Ivanov | Senior News Contributor

Updated: Apr 3, 2024

Las Vegas Enjoys a Record February Amidst Leap Year Boost

 

February proved to be a monumental month for Las Vegas casinos, buoyed by a fortuitous leap year addition, a surge in international visitors celebrating the Lunar New Year, and the inaugural hosting of the Super Bowl. The convergence of these events propelled visitation rates and gaming revenue to unprecedented heights, cementing Las Vegas's status as a global entertainment hub.

 

The Key Points:

  1. Record-Breaking Performance: Las Vegas casinos experienced a historic February, propelled by a combination of factors including a leap year bonus day, Lunar New Year celebrations, and the hosting of the Super Bowl for the first time. This convergence of events led to a surge in visitation rates and gaming revenue, with the Vegas Strip emerging as the epicenter of economic activity.
  2. Table Games Dominate: While traditional table games witnessed a significant surge in revenue, slot machine revenue experienced a marginal decline, indicative of shifting visitor preferences. Baccarat emerged as the revenue leader among table games, with a staggering 81.85% increase in revenue, highlighting the enduring appeal of interactive gaming experiences.
  3. Hospitality Sector Soars: The surge in visitation rates translated into soaring hotel occupancy and record-breaking room prices. The average daily room rate (ADR) skyrocketed by an astonishing 40.6%, with the Vegas Strip playing a pivotal role in driving this surge. The allure of world-class entertainment and unparalleled hospitality continues to position Las Vegas as a premier destination for travelers worldwide.

 

According to the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB), Nevada casinos shattered previous records for February gaming revenue, with an impressive 8.5% increase statewide. However, it was the iconic Vegas Strip that emerged as the epicenter of this economic surge, boasting a staggering 12.4% spike in gaming revenue compared to the previous year. Casinos along the Strip collectively raked in over $800 million in gaming revenue, a substantial uptick from the $712 million reported in the corresponding period last year.

The inclusion of Fontainebleau, contributing gaming revenue for the first time in February, further bolstered the Strip's formidable performance. Additionally, the allure of non-game Super Bowl activities, coupled with the perennial draw of the Lunar New Year festivities, ensured a steady influx of visitors to Las Vegas's renowned entertainment district.

In Clark County, home to the illustrious Vegas Strip, gaming revenue soared by a remarkable 8.88%, reaching a staggering $1.17 billion of the $1.3 billion amassed by casinos statewide. This impressive showing underscores the Strip's pivotal role in propelling Nevada to new heights in February's gaming landscape.

While the Strip emerged as the primary driver of gaming revenue, other segments of Clark County's gaming market also experienced notable growth. Downtown Las Vegas witnessed a modest uptick of 2.7% in gaming revenue, indicative of a broader trend of expansion across various sectors of the local gaming industry.

Beyond the confines of the Strip and downtown, the “Balance of County” in Clark County, encompassing casinos situated away from the main tourist corridor, experienced a commendable uptick of 7.37% in gaming revenue. The Durango Casino, in particular, played a pivotal role in this surge, prompting discussions of potential expansion by its parent company in response to heightened demand.

A closer examination of gaming revenue reveals a notable disparity between table games and slot machines on the Vegas Strip. While traditional table games experienced a remarkable surge in revenue, with a remarkable 30% increase, slot machine revenue witnessed a marginal decline of 2.39%. This divergence highlights the shifting preferences of visitors, as they gravitate towards interactive table games over their mechanized counterparts.

Among table games, baccarat emerged as the undisputed revenue leader, experiencing an astonishing 81.85% surge in revenue, with casinos on the Strip amassing $180 million from the game alone. The allure of blackjack and craps also proved irresistible to visitors, with both games posting significant revenue increases compared to the previous year.

Unsurprisingly, sports betting revenue experienced a notable uptick, driven by the spectacle of the Super Bowl held at nearby Allegiant Stadium. Vegas Strip sports betting revenue surged by almost 10%, reaching $24 million, contributing to Nevada's overall sports betting revenue of $47.9 million for February.

Beyond gaming, the surge in visitation rates fueled a surge in hotel occupancy, with rates climbing to 83.9%, representing a 1.7% increase from the previous year. This surge in demand translated into soaring hotel room prices, with the average daily room rate (ADR) skyrocketing by an astonishing 40.6% to $248.35 for the month.

 

“Casinos on the Vegas Strip won just over $800 million. Last year these casinos collected $712 million.”

 

The Conclusions

Notably, the Vegas Strip played a pivotal role in driving this surge in hotel room prices, with the ADR for Strip hotels climbing by 43.1% to $269.37. Conversely, downtown Las Vegas experienced a more modest increase in ADR, underscoring the Strip's dominance in shaping broader market trends.

As Las Vegas basks in the glow of a record-breaking February, the city's enduring appeal as a premier entertainment destination remains undisputed. With the promise of continued growth and innovation, fueled by a dynamic blend of world-class entertainment and unparalleled hospitality, Las Vegas stands poised to maintain its status as a global beacon of excitement and extravagance.

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