Nevada casinos raked in a record amount of cash in 2021 as pandemic-weary players poured back into the City of Sin. With $13.4 billion in gaming revenue, 2021’s cash haul was a full billion more than the previous record. But what does 2022 have in store for spiritual center of the US gaming industry?
As is usually the case, slot machines were the big money-maker for Nevada casinos in 2021. Slot play accounted for a whopping $9.2 billion of the state’s gaming haul. That’s up a full 70 percent over 2020’s numbers, which included the extended lockdown period when casinos were completely closed to the public.
Table games accounted for an additional $4.19 billion in revenue; a number that was also up 70 percent over 2020. Sports betting accounted for an additional $445.1 million in revenue, breaking yet another state record. But, by way of comparison, roulette also pulled in around $428 million in revenue. Which just goes to show that, despite its age and gravitas, Nevada’s sports betting market isn’t all that big.
In a recent interview with Forbes, Brendan Bussmann, partner and director of government affairs with Global Market Advisors shared his thoughts on why Nevada casinos did so well in 2021 saying, “We’re not in full recovery. If you look at the numbers, on their surface, it looks like we’re more than back from the pandemic low because of the growth and the record year, but you have several segments—like business and international travel—that still aren’t back.”
Most gaming industry analysts concur that pent-up demand, and vaccines that reduce the risk of death by Covid, are a major factor in Nevada’s stellar 2021 numbers. They’re hoping that a similar phenomenon will motivate players to part with cash in Nevada during 2022 as well.