Reports say 2022 was good for Nevada casinos, Vegas tourism

  • FILE - A plane takes off from Harry Reid International Airport near casinos along the Las Vegas Strip, Sept. 29, 2021, in Las Vegas. The year 2022 was good for gambling and tourism in Nevada. New data posted Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023, showed house winnings at casinos statewide set calendar year records and visitor tallies in Las Vegas nearly reached levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The year 2022 was good for gambling and tourism in Nevada, where winnings at casinos statewide set calendar year records and Las Vegas visitor tallies nearly reached levels before the coronavirus pandemic.

“Las Vegas enjoyed a robust recovery trajectory across core tourism indicators in 2022,” the regional Convention and Visitors Authority said in a report summarizing December and year-end visitor volume figures on Tuesday.


“The year closed out with 38.8 million annual visitors,” the report said, up more than 20% from 2021 and down just under 9% from 42.5 million in 2019.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board said separately that 459 large casinos statewide won an all-time high $14.8 billion last year, up more than 23% from calendar year 2019.

That translated to nearly $945 million in taxes and fees for the state, Michael Lawton, board senior analyst said. That’s an increase of about $8 million compared with 2021 and up almost 25% from $758 million in pre-pandemic 2019.

The figures are important, because casino taxes make up about 17% of state revenues, second only to sales taxes in a state that has no personal income tax.

A 10-year bar chart of what the board terms “casino win” figures shows steady annual increases since 2013, except in 2020 when all casinos and many other businesses statewide were closed from mid-March to early June 2020.

December marked the 22nd consecutive month that casinos reported at least $1 billion in winnings, which is an unprecedented stretch, Lawton said.

“We’re still feeling the effects of pent-up demand from COVID, as well as overall growth of interest,” said Brett Abarbanel, executive director of the International Gaming Institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

“Our entertainment mix has grown through COVID and beyond,” she said, citing, “sports, shows, concerts, and of course, gambling.”

Convention attendance has also been recovering in Las Vegas, the visitors authority said. It counted just under 5 million people at conferences and trade shows in 2022, or about three‐quarters of the 2019 tally of 6.6 million convention attendees.

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