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Nevada casinos riding hot streak, set new monthly win record

August 26, 2021 GMT
FILE - In this June 24, 2021, file photo, people crowd the casino during the opening night of the Resorts World Las Vegas hotel-casino in Las Vegas. Nevada casinos set another winnings record in July, riding a streak of robust revenues that has the state reaping the tax benefit, state gambling regulators said Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
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FILE - In this June 24, 2021, file photo, people crowd the casino during the opening night of the Resorts World Las Vegas hotel-casino in Las Vegas. Nevada casinos set another winnings record in July, riding a streak of robust revenues that has the state reaping the tax benefit, state gambling regulators said Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
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FILE - In this June 24, 2021, file photo, people crowd the casino during the opening night of the Resorts World Las Vegas hotel-casino in Las Vegas. Nevada casinos set another winnings record in July, riding a streak of robust revenues that has the state reaping the tax benefit, state gambling regulators said Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada casinos set another monthly winnings record last month, riding a streak of robust revenues that has the state reaping the tax benefit, state gambling regulators said Thursday.

Casinos statewide reported taking in a record $1.36 billion in July — the fifth straight month topping at least $1 billion and easily passing the record $1.23 billion set in May.

Nevada Gaming Control Board analyst Michael Lawton called July a “perfect storm for gaming win in terms of special events” in Las Vegas.

Last month had five weekends; benefited from the opening June 24 of the big Resorts World Las Vegas complex; hosted the return of several Cirque du Soleil shows and headline concerts; and experienced a sharp jump in baccarat play by international guests.

Lawton pointed to shows by entertainers Bruno Mars at the Park MGM, Usher at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace and Garth Brooks at Allegiant Stadium, a UFC event featuring Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier at T-Mobile Arena, and the CONCACAF Gold Cup final between the United States and Mexico at the end of the month.

The soccer match drew about 61,500 fans to the first full-capacity sporting event at Allegiant Stadium since it was completed last year.

Nevada also benefited from a continuing increase in leisure visits by consumers with coronavirus stimulus money to spend, Lawton said.

The more than 3.3 million southern Nevada visitors tallied during the month by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority approached the 3.7 million in pre-pandemic July 2019, even without any reported convention attendance, according to a report on Thursday. Several conferences were scheduled in August and some larger expos are set for September.

McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas has reported also reported a near-return to pre-pandemic passenger traffic in July. It said last week it handled 4.15 million arriving and departing people last month, compared with 4.5 million in July 2019.

The travel and casino numbers last month weren’t diminished by Gov. Steve Sisolak’s emergency COVID-19 order restoring indoor mask mandates for vaccinated and unvaccinated people in casinos and other businesses effective July 30.

The nearly $98 million the state reaped in revenues based on July monthly winnings was the third-highest all-time, Lawton said.

The figure is an important part of the $8.7 billion state budget for the next two years. Casino taxes make up about 17.4% of state revenues, second only to sales taxes. Nevada has no personal income tax.

House winnings by Las Vegas Strip casinos totaled nearly $794 million in July, up a healthy 21% from May and an increase of 46.5% in comparison with pre-pandemic July 2019. The figure was up more than 140% compared with 2020, a month with anemic numbers due to the pandemic and closures.

Table, counter and card game winnings statewide of $486.2 million increased nearly 48% compared with July 2019 and marked the second-highest total in state history, Lawton said. The record was $531.4 million in February 2013.

More than $12 billion was bet with slot machines during the month, and house winnings totaled nearly $874 million. That was up 25.5% from July 2019.

Sports pool winnings set a record last month, at $33.3 million. Lawton said bets made with mobile apps won $13.6 million on $242 million in wagers and accounted for 59% of total sports wagers.