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Nevada Casinos Have Third-Best Year In State History With $11.9 Billion Haul In 2018

Silver State Set Records In Sports Betting With $5.01 Billion Handle

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Nevada casinos recorded their third-best year in history after finishing 2018 with $11.9 billion in gaming revenue.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board released numbers Wednesday for both December 2018 and the calendar year. In the final month of 2018, the state’s casino won more than $960 million from gamblers, falling just shy of its sixth ten-figure month.

The $11.9 billion is a three percent increase from 2017 and the fourth-straight year of revenue growth for casinos in the Silver State. The only years that were better for Nevada casino operators came in 2006 with $12.6 billion in revenue and the 2007 peak of $12.8 billion.

There was no better year for Nevada sportsbooks, however. Sportsbooks across the state generated a record $301 million in revenue, along with a record handle of $5.01 billion.

According to Nevada Gaming Control Board Senior Research Analyst Michael Lawton, the spike in sports betting stemmed from the national spotlight that is on the issue.

When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 last year in May, it opened the doors for all states to allow sports betting. In turn, that made sports wagering more mainstream and removed any social stigma from betting on sporting events.

Lawton also believes that with the continued increase of tourism to the state and renovations taking place both in Las Vegas and Reno, 2019 should continue the upward trend.

“Additionally, with the positive economic indicators that the state has been recording along with positive national economic trends, continued modest growth seems attainable,” Lawton told CDC Gaming Reports.

The increased revenue from 2017 to 2018 marked the eighth time in the last nine years that Nevada experienced growth in gaming revenue.