Number Of Nevada Poker Rooms Keeps Shrinking, But Revenue Doesn’t Suffer

Steve Ruddock May 1, 2017 880 Reads
Nevada poker rooms

Nevada poker revenue held steady in March, despite a meaningful decline in the total number of poker rooms and tables compared to 2016, according to Nevada gaming regulators.

While poker rooms in Nevada may be shrinking in number and size, they also appear to be becoming more efficient.

Top line numbers

In March 2016, the Nevada Gaming Control Board reported 71 total poker rooms and 655 poker tables in the state. This year, the number of poker rooms dipped to 66 (a seven-percent decline) with total tables falling even further, down to 596 (a nine percent drop).

Over a long timeframe, the decline becomes more pronounced. Nevada boasted more than 100 poker rooms and more than 900 total poker tables less than a decade ago.

That being said, statewide poker revenue was nearly identical year-over-year: $9,678,000 in March 2016 compared to $9,608,000 in March 2017. This represents a year-over-year decline of less than one percent.

Despite the decline, this should be considered a win when factoring in the decline in the number of rooms and total tables. The per table average in March 2016 was $14,775. In 2017, the per table average rose to $16,120.

‘Consistency’ is the name of the game in 2017

The number of poker rooms and poker tables in Nevada has been relatively static during the first quarter of 2017:

  • January 2017: 65 poker rooms and 596 poker tables
  • February 2017: 67 poker rooms and 600 poker tables
  • March 2017: 66 poker rooms and 596 poker tables

Revenue has also been consistent, as seen in the chart below.

Poker in Clark County

Clark County saw a slight uptick in tables. The 40 card rooms in the county (which includes Las Vegas) saw two tables added in March compared to February, bringing the total up to 478.

Clark County over-performs in terms of revenue, as it accounts for most of the state’s poker revenue, roughly 90 percent. But it represents just 66 percent of the state’s total poker rooms and 80 percent of the poker tables.

Per table, Clark County poker rooms generated about $18,000 in March. Outside of Clark County, this number drops to about $8,300 per table.

This becomes even more pronounced when we zoom in on the Las Vegas Strip.

Poker on the Las Vegas Strip

The Strip is home to 20 of the state’s poker rooms and 277 tables, per the March NGCB report. However, the Strip accounts for 63 percent of all poker revenue in Nevada, which works out to a per table average of nearly $22,000. This is 18 percent higher than Clark County and more than 2.5 times higher than non-Clark County poker rooms.

The largest poker rooms in Las Vegas remain unchanged; as expected, The Strip dominates:

  • Venetian (Strip) – 37 poker tables
  • Bellagio (Strip) – 37 poker tables
  • Orleans (Las Vegas off-Strip)- 35 poker tables
  • Wynn (Strip) – 28 poker tables
  • Aria (Strip) – 24 poker tables
  • South Point Casino (Henderson) – 22 poker tables
  • Green Valley Ranch Casino (Henderson) – 22 poker tables
  • Red Rock Casino (Summerlin) – 20 tables

Historical data and trends of poker in Nevada

Here’s a look at several key poker metrics from the UNLV Center for Gaming Research, which has been tracking the number of poker rooms, tables and revenue since 1992:

Year # of Rooms # of Tables Total Revenue % Change YoY
1992 92 564 74,701,000 -2.57
1993 89 571 70,814,000 -5.20
1994 93 586 71,667,000 1.20
1995 92 574 66,520,000 -7.18
1996 82 539 64,485,000 -3.06
1997 77 490 61,509,000 -4.61
1998 76 526 58,873,000 -4.29
1999 70 546 63,244,000 7.41
2000 68 473 63,064,000 -0.28
2001 65 475 59,673,000 -5.38
2002 57 386 57,791,000 -3.15
2003 58 383 68,276,000 18.15
2004 79 484 98,862,000 44.80
2005 96 701 140,224,000 42.00
2006 106 886 160,929,000 14.77
2007 113 907 167,975,000 4.38
2008 113 913 155,724,000 -7.29
2009 114 905 145,580,000 -6.54
2010 109 920 135,200,000 -7.13
2011 104 872 131,877,000 -2.46
2012 99 809 123,253,000 -6.54
2013 88 774 123,891,000 0.56
2014 79 736 119,904,000 -3.18
2015 76 681 118,023,000 -1.57
2016 73 661 117,753,000 -0.18

Image credit: Kobby Dagan / Shutterstock.com