The Nevada Gaming Control Board reports casinos won more than $1.1 billion in December as gaming numbers continue to increase amid the pandemic. Casinos in Clark County led the way in reported winnings with $998 million being collected and resorts on the Las Vegas Strip accounted for $650 million of that total. Compared to last December, Nevada went up 68% in gaming wins this year as several visitors continue to return to Las Vegas. Overall the Silver State's gaming total is up 60% from July 2021 through December 2021.
Las Vegas welcomed more than 32 million tourists last year, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA). That is still about 10 million visitors short of where we were pre-pandemic in 2019. But it is a jump compared to 2020, when Las Vegas had 19 million visitors. About 2.2 million convention visitors came to Las Vegas since in-person tradeshows returned in June 2021, the report said. This is about one-third of the 6.65 million people who attended conventions in 2019.
Hotel occupancy was about 67% in 2021, up 42% in 2020 but down from 89% in 2019. Las Vegas closed out 2021 with just over 3 million visitors in Dec., down 3.5% from Dec. 2020 and down 13% from Dec. 2019, the report said.
So what does all this mean? It means that while the tourist industry is slowly recovering, the gaming industry is booming. The $13.4B win for Nevada Casinos in 2021 exceeds the previous record of $12.85B in 2017 with fewer tourists.