The Las Vegas Strip accounted for more than half of the state’s $1.27 billion gaming win generated in September 2023.
Fans wait outside the Sphere during the immersive music venue’s opening night on Sept. 29, 2023. Special events helped the Las Vegas Strip propel Nevada’s gaming win to an all-time September high. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The $741.2 million in gross gaming revenue (GGR) won by Strip casinos propelled Nevada to its best September on record. The $1.27 billion statewide haul topped September 2022 by 1.7% and beat September 2019 by over 20% — or $213.3 million.
The Strip’s performance offset year-over-year losses elsewhere, including in downtown Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Mesquite, the Boulder Strip, and both shores of Lake Tahoe.
Baccarat, the game of choice among Asian gamblers, led the Strip table gaming income at $147.4 million. That represents an 88% year-over-year surge and is another critical indicator that business from Asia continues to return to Southern Nevada.
Blackjack also fared well, with twenty-one winning $74.7 million for the Strip properties. That’s an 18% premium on September 2022.
Presumably benefiting from increased convention and mass market traffic, slots also did well. The terminals kept $741.2 million, a 7% gain from a year ago on stronger hold rates.
Events and Sports Fuel September
With the pandemic in the rearview mirror, Las Vegas continues to welcome back players and visitors. September marked the beginning of the convention season in Las Vegas, as the summer ends, cooler temperatures arrive, and businesspeople organize their marquee events.
September’s convention calendar was highlighted by The Experience Cleaning and Restoration Trade Show at the Caesars Forum Convention Center, which brought 50,000 people to town. The Healthcare Packaging Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center lured another 30,000 visitors.
Major events were also abundant in September. “Weekends With Adele” returned to the Caesars Palace Colosseum and Lady Gaga enjoyed runs at Park MGM’s Dolby Live. The Jonas Brothers played at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
U2 also opened the Sphere, the $2.3 billion immersive entertainment and concert venue located behind The Venetian. The 17,500-seat globe is the most expensive entertainment venue in Las Vegas history.
As for sports, the NFL Las Vegas Raiders played their home opener at Allegiant Stadium on Sept. 24. Boxing headlined T-Mobile Arena, with super middleweight champ Canelo Alvarez the unanimous decision winner over Jermell Charlo on Sept. 30.
The Las Vegas Aces additionally began their WNBA playoff run, which culminated in October with the team’s second straight WNBA title.
Las Vegas reported strong gaming revenue in September despite the cyberattack on MGM Resorts that greatly disrupted resort operations. Though MGM did not shutter any of its Strip properties, many slot machines were disabled because of the cyber incident.
CBRE Equity Research analyst John DeCree said September saw a slot volume decline from September 2022. It marked the first time slot volume dropped year-over-year since June 2020 when casinos were allowed to reopen after being shuttered on government orders.
We suspect the cyberattack that disrupted MGM’s slot systems in September could be to blame for the decline in slot handle,” DeCree said.
Visitation was also likely impacted by the MGM issues. About 3.3 million people visited Las Vegas in September, a 0.5% year-over-year drop. Occupancy on the Strip was also down, with DeCree saying the decline “could be partially attributed to the cyberattack.”
MGM offered guests free cancellations during the September cyber incident.
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