Nevada Poker Report Oct. 2017: Revenue Holds As Rooms Continue To Disappear

Steve Ruddock December 5, 2017 345 Reads
Nevada poker rooms

Depending on how you look at it, the current state of Nevada poker is either good or bad.

Let’s start with the bad.

The number of poker tables in the state of Nevada is at its lowest point since 2004, while the number of poker rooms has receded to pre-poker boom levels.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Poker revenue is up year-over-year, with the state’s poker rooms on pace to generate about $120 million in 2017.

That’s more than double what a similar number of poker rooms managed back in 2002.

Top line numbers for October

In what is becoming a familiar refrain, the number of poker rooms and poker tables in Nevada were once again down year-over-year in October, but total revenue was on the rise.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board counted 61 poker rooms and 572 tables this October. That’s a marked decrease from the 67 rooms and 610 tables the state possessed in October 2016.

Despite the declining number of rooms and tables, total poker revenue rose by .31 percent YoY.

Statewide poker revenue was $8,736,000 this year, compared to $8,709,000 in October 2016.

Not surprisingly, on a per table average October 2017 outperformed October 2016 by a wide margin:

  • October 2016 table average: $14,277
  • October 2017 table average: $15,273

This is a clear sign that poker rooms are becoming more efficient as the poorly performing rooms close down.

Poker rooms and tables trends in 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
  • April 2017: 64 poker rooms and 586 poker tables
  • May 2017: 62 poker rooms and 724 poker tables
  • June 2017: 62 poker rooms and 731 poker tables
  • July 2017: 63 poker rooms and 724 poker tables
  • August 2017: 63 poker rooms and 603 poker tables
  • September 2017: 62 poker rooms and 598 poker tables
  • October 2017: 61 poker rooms and 572 poker tables

Here’s how the poker room and table trend looks in chart form.

Poker in Clark County

In October 2017, there were 38 poker rooms in Clark County, which includes Las Vegas. Those rooms boast a total of 457 poker tables.

In October 2016 there were 40 rooms and 487 tables in Clark County.

Clark County accounts for the vast majority (over 90 percent) of all poker revenue in Nevada. In October, Clark County poker rooms generated $7,842,000 of the $8,736,000 poker dollars collected by the states card rooms.

There are a couple of reasons for this.

First, the rooms in Clark County are bigger. The average size of a poker room in Clark County is around 16 tables, whereas the average size of a poker room outside of Clark County is under 5 tables.

Second, Clark County poker rooms are more heavily trafficked, and therefore they generate more revenue per table.

Average monthly value of a Clark County poker table is over $15,000, while the average monthly value of a poker table outside of Clark County is just over $8,000.

Poker on the Las Vegas Strip

Zooming in even closer, The Strip accounts for most of the poker dollars coming out of Clark County, and therefore most of the poker dollars in Nevada.

The Strip only has 18 poker rooms, but it accounts for nearly half of the state’s poker tables: 262 in October.

Revenue-wise, The Strip poker rooms tallied over $5.4 million of the $8.7 million collected statewide.

Nevada poker rooms by the numbers

The largest poker rooms in Las Vegas are mainly found on the Las Vegas Strip:

  • Venetian (The Strip) – 37 poker tables
  • Bellagio (The Strip) – 37 poker tables
  • Orleans (Las Vegas off-strip)- 35 poker tables
  • Wynn (The Strip) – 28 poker tables
  • Aria (The 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