Chinese New Year gave Nevada casinos a $1-billion gift
By Bob Garcia
As the Year of the Dog, according to the Chinese calendar, was kicking off, Nevada casinos saw a much-needed spike in gambling. February brought in over $1 billion to the casinos, as did January. It’s the first time that Nevada has seen back-to-back billion-dollar revenue since 2008, and pumps up the industry that saw declines in 2017.
The casinos along the Strip enjoyed an increase of over 11% in February, bringing in $603.5 million. Following the October 1 mass attack near the Mandalay Bay Resort, revenue in the Strip casinos dropped significantly and February marks the first time they’ve reported monthly gains. January revenue dropped the most following the attack, down 8.89% to $554 million. The casinos are still hoping for another boost, however, as the year-to-date gains have only increased by 0.6%.
Without a doubt, the catalyst for the increase was the high number of Asian gamblers that swooped down on Vegas in February in celebration of the Chinese New Year, which officially began on February 16. Baccarat, a favorite among Asian players, brought in $177.3 million to Nevada casinos, marking an 80% rise.
Sportsbooks didn’t fare as well. In comparison to February 2017 numbers, they reported a 48% drop. The oddsmakers win percent was only 2.6 compared to 5.5% in 2017.