Recreational Gamblers Boost Vegas Revenue

slot slotCasino operators in Las Vegas were smiling in June 2016 according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board’s latest financial report. Released at the close of July, the report details a 6.9% revenue year-over-year increase thanks to a total gaming win worth $887 million.

As ever, the Las Vegas strip was the biggest contributor to that haul with $488 million coming from gamblers on the iconic gambling strip. However, while the strip’s haul is 9.74% higher than the same period in 2015, that’s not the end of the story.


More Action Means More Wins

In addition to strip revenue reaching new heights, Clark County saw its year-over-year gambling win improve 7.33% while Laughlin and Downtown Las Vegas were up 9.57% and 0.56% respectively. The summer months are traditionally a boom time for gambling hubs in Nevada, but the latest set of results is something many casino owners will be pleased about given the unstable nature of the industry over the last five years.

In fact, this increase in gambling activity has led to a number of big wins in the state over the last few weeks. One of the most impressive stories of 2016 is the lucky flier who banked a slots prize just short of $1 million while waiting for their flight home.

According to McCarran Airport’s official Twitter account, the traveler took a spin on one of the Wheel of Fortune slots in the terminal and walked away with $933,080 after the three jackpot symbols rolled in.

The Return of the Casual Player

A win like this is certainly impressive, but in the spectrum of slot wins it pales in comparison to the £13 million+ ($16 million+) win one lucky player scooped online. Playing on Betway Casino’s popular Mega Moolah, army vet Jon Heywood wagered just £0.25 ($0. 32) to hit what became a world record win.

Heywood had long been a recreational player and it was Betway’s range of low stakes games that prompted him to ante-up. On vacation after returning from Afghanistan, Heywood logged into his account at and saw he could win the jackpot for a tiny sum of money. It took just a few spins for Heywood to hit the dream win and soon after he told the media he’d use the money to pay for his father’s medical treatment.

While the last slots win in Vegas and Heywood’s might be worlds apart in terms of value, they do have one common denominator: both players were recreational gamblers. Over the past five years Las Vegas has struggled due to the lack of tourists coming in to play inside its casinos. Owing to the recession, recreational players have been less inclined to spend their money on activities such as slots and blackjack.

Positive Times Ahead for Las Vegas

However, with economies now starting to increase, casual players are returning to the tables and that’s resulted in an upturn in fortunes for Sin City. Indeed, with recreational players like Heywood now able to ante-up online and learn the nuances of certain casino games, they’re more confident when it comes to playing inside a live casino.

This increase in knowledge combined with a greater amount of disposable income has led to a betting resurgence and that can be seen in Nevada’s latest financial report. While it’s tough to say this growth will continue, the immediate future certainly seems to be bright and that can only be a good thing for Vegas and the betting industry as a whole.