Three Key Takeaways from the Nevada August Gaming Report

Three Key Takeaways from the Nevada August Gaming Report
By Bill Ordine

Nevada gaming hit the $1 billion mark for the sixth straight month in August, posting an overall gambling win of $1.166 billion.

The August gaming win totals in Nevada were a month-to-month dip of almost 14.3% from July’s $1.36 billion but it needs to be noted that July was an all-time record. The August decline may be due to the public’s enthusiasm for casino visitation being slightly dampened by a rise in COVID-19 numbers, meaning infections and hospitalizations.

It was more than a year ago that all U.S. casinos were shut down by the pandemic and then had new guidelines put in place to ensure customer and employee safety.

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However, looking at the larger picture, the August gaming win numbers topping $1 billion for six straight months shows the resilience of Nevada and Las Vegas as tourism and casino gaming continue to emerge from the economic devastation of the pandemic. Comparisons from a year ago are impressive. The August figure of $1.166 billion was nearly a 57% increase from August 2020 (almost $743 million) when gambling was still on wobbly legs from the pandemic.

Here are three key takeaways from the Nevada report:

The Strip Leads the Way

Naturally, leading the way in Nevada’s August gaming win total of $1.166 billion was The Strip, which contributed $627.5 million of that gaming win, or more than 53% of the state total. The Strip’s August 2021 performance nearly doubled August 2020 ($317.25 million).

Downtown Las Vegas took in $64.2 million in gaming win in August; that was up 80.5% from August 2020 ($35.6 million). Overall in Clark County, the gaming win was $993 million, an increase of 67.3% from August 2020 ($594 million).

Nevada Sports Betting August vs. July

Total handle Mobile handleRevenue
Change Up 4.3% Up 22.5% Down 56.9%

Sports Betting Up 4.3%

In sports wagering, Nevada handle and revenues experienced the normal nationwide summer doldrums. Sports betting handle was $427 million, up 4.3% from July ($410 million) but down 10% from August 2020 ($475 million). Nevada’s August sports betting revenue took a month-to-month slide in August at $14.34 million, down 56.9% from July ($33.28 million) and down 15.6% from August 2020 (nearly $17 million).

Baseball was the monthly handle leader, generating $277.62 million in action for August. The start of football season, both the NFL and college, is expected to juice Nevada’s sports betting numbers for September.

Nevada a Tourist Destination

In Nevada and especially in Las Vegas, retail sports betting does better compared to its online wagering counterpart than in other states because of tourist visitation to casino sportsbooks.

Whereas mobile will get at least 80% and often more than 90% of the sports handle in other states, such as New Jersey, mobile sports wagering in Nevada was a more modest 69.4% of the state total handle in August. Nevada’s mobile sports betting handle in August was $296.48 million, up 22.5% from July ($241.95 million) and down 2.9% from August 2020 ($305.19 million).

In a state-to-state comparison for August 2021, Nevada’s sports wagering handle of $427 million is second so far, trailing New Jersey’s $665 million. Virginia and Illinois have yet to report figures for the month.



A longtime reporter and editor who began writing on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened, Bill covered the world Series of Poker and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for a decade.

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