Poker Continues To Fade In Nevada, Per Latest Data On Revenue, Rooms

Steve Ruddock March 6, 2017 1831 Reads
Nevada Las Vegas poker

The Nevada Gaming Control Board recently released its monthly revenue data for January.

While total gaming revenue was up more than 12 percent, poker revenue continued its downward trend. Revenue from poker games tallied $9 million, a decline of more than five percent compared to January 2016.

Annual poker revenue hit an all-time high of more than $160 million a decade ago, but it has been in steady decline ever since.

The recent trend appears to show that the floor is nearly set, however.

The trend for poker rooms around the state

Troubling as well is the dwindling number of poker rooms and poker tables in Nevada. According to the NGCB, the state is down to just 65 poker rooms statewide totaling just 596 tables, numbers not seen since before the poker boom.

By comparison, the state had more than 100 poker rooms and some 900 tables just five or six years ago.

Here’s a look at the total number of rooms in the state dating back to 1992:

There are still more poker rooms and tables than there were in the late 1990s and early 2000s before the 2003 poker boom. But the numbers are below where they sat more than two decades ago.

At least the decline in poker rooms appears to be plateauing, rather than falling off a cliff as it did in the wake of the 2006 passage of the UIGEA and Black Friday in 2011.

The number of tables, however, still outpaces the tables available at any point prior to 2004:

Poker in Clark County

Virtually all of the poker action in Nevada takes place within the confines of Clark County, which includes Las Vegas.

There are 40 poker rooms inside Clark County, with an average of 12 poker tables per room.

Outside of Clark County, there are quite a few rooms — 25 — but those rooms average just five poker tables and generate very little revenue.

In January 2017, Clark County accounted for 62 percent of the state’s poker rooms, 80 percent of the state’s total poker tables (476), and a whopping 92 percent of total poker revenue ($8,174,000).

Poker on the Las Vegas Strip

Las Vegas is part of Clark County, but fortunately for number wonks like myself, the NGCB breaks down the monthly revenue data beyond the county level and provides data on specific areas of Las Vegas, including the Strip.

The Strip has just 20 of the state’s 65 poker rooms, but those 20 poker rooms account for just under half its total poker tables (275) and 64 percent of its total poker revenue ($5,753,000) in January 2017.

Las Vegas Strip poker rooms are slightly larger than Clark County writ large, averaging 14 tables each.

The largest poker rooms in Las Vegas are:

  • 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

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