Nevada casinos saw their gaming win soar 72% year over year in March, topping $1 billion for the first time since the pandemic struck a year ago.
The total of $1.066 billion was also a marked improvement over February, when $772 million was reported, and it surpassed the state's haul of $1.022 billion in March 2019. With year-to-date results down less than 4% year over year, it indicates the casino market is steadily returning to health.
February 2020 was the last full month of operations when casinos were able to operate at full capacity. Although they've since reopened, casinos are required to limit occupancy to 50% of capacity, and that only started in mid-March. Before that, they operated at 35%.
Las Vegas Strip casinos saw gaming win rise to $501.5 million, a 67% gain for the month, which bodes well for operators like Caesars Entertainment (CZR 0.60%) and MGM Resorts International (MGM 3.63%), which own the most properties on the Strip.
The locals' market also rose, with North Las Vegas up 17% from last year and the Boulder Strip rising almost 35%. Boyd Gaming (BYD 2.73%), which has eight properties that serve the locals' market in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, ought to see a boost as well.
More gains for casinos are on the horizon, too, as the gaming control board is allowing casinos in Clark County (where Las Vegas is located) to operate at 80% capacity beginning May 1 and at 100% capacity once the county reaches a 60% vaccination rate. More rural counties will be able to be at full capacity beginning next month.