Nevada Poker Rooms Are Having Their Best Year Since Black Friday

Steve Ruddock May 31, 2019 666 Reads

A solid April has the Nevada poker industry on pace for its best year since 2011. The ongoing reduction in poker rooms and poker tables across the state makes that accomplishment all the more impressive.

Despite fewer tables, revenues have increased year over year (Y/Y) in each of the first four months of 2019. Those increases haven’t been trivial, either.

The 2019 Y/Y revenue changes as reported by the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB):

  • January: +6.52%
  • February: +3.79%
  • March: +6.30%
  • April:  +4.05%

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A look inside this month’s revenue numbers

The number of poker rooms and tables in the state was pretty stagnant month over month. The NGCB counted 58 poker rooms and 555 poker tables in its latest monthly report. That’s an increase of one room and a loss of one table compared to last month.

As usual, the Y/Y numbers show significant drops on both counts. Nevada boasted 64 poker rooms and 585 poker tables in April 2018.

Once again, with the Y/Y revenue gains, April 2019 outperformed April 2018 on a per table basis:

  • April 2018 table average: $14,033
  • April 2019 table average: $15,558

2018-19 live poker revenue in Nevada

WSOP ushers in the busy season

From late-May to mid-July, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) swells the number of poker tables in the city of Las Vegas. It also causes a spike in poker revenue (see chart below).

This year is the 50th anniversary of the WSOP. Couple that with a renewed interest in poker (attendance has been trending up in recent years), and this WSOP has the potential to be a record-setter.

Three- and 12-month poker room and table trend

Over the last three months, Nevada has averaged 553 poker tables at 58 separate locations. Those rooms generated $28,723,000 over that period, a 4.92%  increase compared to the same period last year.

Over the last 12 months, Nevada has averaged 590 poker tables at 62 locations. During that time the state’s poker operators have generated $121,943,000, a 2.52% increase compared to the previous 12-month period.

  • May 2018: 62 poker rooms and 688 poker tables
  • June 2018: 62 poker rooms and 683 poker tables
  • July 2018: 60 poker rooms and 694 poker tables
  • August 2018: 61 poker rooms and 585 poker tables
  • September 2018: 58 poker rooms and 561 poker tables
  • October 2018: 56 poker rooms and 558 poker tables
  • November 2018: 58 poker rooms and 561 poker tables
  • December 2018: 56 poker rooms and 553 poker tables
  • January: 57 poker rooms and 548 poker tables
  • February:  55 poker rooms and 546 poker tables
  • March: 57 poker rooms and 556 poker tables
  • April: 58 poker rooms and 555 poker tables

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 the 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
2017 71 615 118,455,000 0.60
2018 62 599 120,010,000 1.33

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