Nevada casinos set 9-month record of $1B in house winnings

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada casinos set a record in November, reporting a ninth straight month of $1 billion or more in house winnings — in a sign that business in the nation’s tourist-dependent gambling mecca has returned to pre-coronavirus pandemic levels.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board on Wednesday reported $1.32 billion in casino winnings statewide last month — up from $1.22 billion in October, and just under the all-time record $1.36 billion figure set last July.

Board senior analyst Michael Lawton noted the streak beat the previous record of eight consecutive months set before the Great Recession, from October 2006 to May 2007.

Lawton said business has been buoyed by visitors with money to spend, a sustained rebound of leisure travel and the return after the first week of November of airline flights from international places other than Canada and Mexico.

Special events and entertainment also played a role. Lawton noted the Nov. 2 return of the big Specialty Equipment Market Association automobile trade show to Las Vegas.

The report comes with newly renamed Harry Reid International Airport reporting passenger traffic ramping up almost to levels seen two years ago.

The former McCarran International Airport handled about 4 million arriving and departing passengers in November, down just 4.4% from the same month in 2019.