Las Vegas casinos took more than $900 MILLION in December alone – with Nevada raking in $15 BILLION in 2023 as gamblers rush back to Sin City after COVID slump

Las Vegas casinos took more than $900 MILLION in December alone – with Nevada raking in $15 BILLION in 2023 as gamblers rush back to Sin City after COVID slump

In a blockbuster year of profits, Nevada casinos raked in over $15billion from unlucky gamblers in 2023.

Casinos on the Las Vegas strip took in more than $900million from gamblers in December alone, contributing to a record-breaking month for the state.

The Gaming Control Board of Nevada said the state recorded winnings of $1.43 billion in the month of December – its highest ever.

Much of the surge is down to renewed enthusiasm following COVID-19 casino closures, while high-profile events like the Formula One Grand Prix in late November, the opening of the $2.3 billion Sphere and the Dec. 13 opening of the Fontainebleau Hotel and Casino, also boosted results.

Last year’s total gaming revenue increased 4.6 percent from 2022, when the state set a new record with takings of $14.8 billion.


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The Gaming Control Board of Nevada said the state recorded winnings of $1.43 billion in the month of December, with takings amount to $15.5 billion for the year
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The Gaming Control Board of Nevada said the state recorded winnings of $1.43 billion in the month of December, with takings amount to $15.5 billion for the year

Forbes reported that ever since reopening after the Covid-19 pandemic, the state has posted 34 straight months of $1 billion in monthly revenue.

HOW CASINOS MAKE IT HARDER TO WIN BIG

Casinos in Las Vegas are raising the odds on games as payouts decrease 

Blackjack: Tables traditionally paid 3:2 if a player got 21 from their first two cards.

Many now pay 6:5.

That means player who bets $10 will win $12 instead of $15 under the old rules.

Roulette: Tables traditionally have wheels with 38 slots – the number 0-36, plus a ’00’. Some now include a ‘000’.

This means the odds of the ball landing in a chosen number are slightly higher.

The strip’s $905 million win for last month was 11.2 percent higher than December in 2022.

Michael Lawton, senior economic analyst for the board, said: ‘This month’s results were driven primarily by the Strip due to high-end baccarat play and all-time record amounts of slot volume and slot win.

‘Baccarat win on the Strip increased by $72.9 million and accounted for 61.4% of the total gaming win increase on the Strip.

‘The state and The Strip have now set three consecutive records for calendar year revenue: 2021, 2022 and 2023.’

Forbes reported that slot machines had generated $10.2 billion last year across the state, an increase of 2.8%.

Table games set an annual revenue record for the category with $5.2 billion, a 8.3 percent jump compared to 2022.

Baccarat meanwhile, a game popular with international gamblers, generated $1.4 billion across the state.

In a report last year, the Wall Street Journal reported that payouts for winning blackjack had dropped with player losses climbing.

The outlet said that Vegas casinos cut back the number of tables with dealers, raised minimum bets during busy periods and lifted their advantage over player in games.

Blackjack, a fast-paced card game, historically paid out a ratio of 3:2 when a player hit 21 on the first two cards.

That means a gambler wins $15 for every $10 bet. Now, some blackjack tables on the Strip pay out at 6:5, which means that same $10 yields only $12.

Roulette has also had odds increased in many places. The number of triple-zero tables – which add another slot to the wheel and increase the odds of hitting a chosen number – has increased.

Table games set an annual revenue record for the category with $5.2 billion, a 8.3 percent jump compared to 2022
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Table games set an annual revenue record for the category with $5.2 billion, a 8.3 percent jump compared to 2022

Slot machines had generated $10.2 billion last year across the state, an increase of 2.8% on the year before
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Slot machines had generated $10.2 billion last year across the state, an increase of 2.8% on the year before

Minimum bets are also rising, meaning players must risk more cash to play games.

The record breaking year was helped by continuous growth in the number of visitors visiting the city of Las Vegas.

According to a report by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, 40.8 million people came to the city in 2023.

That was up 5.2 percent on the 38.8 million tourists who arrived in the city the year previously.

Which casino games are the easiest to win?

While luck plays a significant role in casino games, different ones call for distinct methods, techniques and odds of winning.

Slot Machines 

Slot machines prove a popular choice at any casino as it is widely assumed that playing slot machines is simple. 

They require little to no practice to pick up and play, making it popular with beginners.  

Despite this, Investopedia has it that slot machine odds are some of the worst, ranging from a one-in-5,000 to one-in-34-million chance of winning the jackpot.

Blackjack 

Arguably the most well known table game in casinos, players use a mixture of skill and strategy to try gain the edge over the card dealer. 

When compared to other games with higher house edges, blackjack players have a better probability of recouping the majority of their bets. 

The win percentage of winning a hand can shoot up as high as 42.22 percent, but casinos are now paying out less on the game. 

 Baccarat 

 Baccarat is a game where the house edge is one of the lowest, meaning it it easier to win money back should you lose. 

Players must make tactical calls based on the up cards of the dealer and the player’s hands, putting it down as a game of chance. 

The goal is to wager on whether the following hand will be won by the player, banker or a tie.

Every player receives two cards and the best hand is the one that has a total value as close to nine as possible.

In a report published in December, analysts are tampering their outlook on gaming for 2024 due to a pent-up demand generated during the pandemic.

The report by Fitch Ratings said: ‘Las Vegas continues to surpass previous gaming revenue records, but could decline in 2024 as the impact of pent-up demand fades and the customer mix changes to more non-gaming customers.’

While Brendan Bussmann, managing partner of B Global, a firm focused on gaming and hospitality, told Forbes: ‘At this point, $1 billion has become the monthly revenue standard.

‘Last year brought spectacular numbers, there is no other way to describe them.’

Bussman said that 2024 was already off to a strong start in Las Vegas, and that will continue with the upcoming Super Bowl LVIII.

The record breaking year was helped by continuous growth in the number of visitors visiting the city of Las Vegas
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The record breaking year was helped by continuous growth in the number of visitors visiting the city of Las Vegas

McLaren's Lando Norris in action during practice runs for the Las Vegas Grand Prix on November 17 2023
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McLaren’s Lando Norris in action during practice runs for the Las Vegas Grand Prix on November 17 2023

The Fontainebleau Las Vegas hotel-casino is seen along the Las Vegas Strip on September 27, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada
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The Fontainebleau Las Vegas hotel-casino is seen along the Las Vegas Strip on September 27, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada

He added: ‘I’m cautiously optimistic that we will continue to see slow and steady growth in 2024, but there might be dips along the way.

‘It will be all about sustaining in the face of economic uncertainty and issues like inflation, rate cuts and geopolitical issues, which pose a cautionary tale for the future.’

Figures from the gaming board show that so far they have collected $84,924,974 in taxes from last month alone.

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