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June 24, 2021

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Nevada casino winnings top $1B in April as tourists return

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John Locher / AP

People ride an escalator along the Las Vegas Strip, Saturday, April 24, 2021, in Las Vegas.

For the second month in a row, casinos in Nevada reported $1 billion in house winnings in April, showing signs that tourism business is returning faster to pre-pandemic levels than some experts expected.

The state Gaming Control Board said Thursday that last month’s overall “casino win” of nearly $1.04 billion was up a robust 11% compared with $936 million in April 2019.

A comparison with a year ago wasn’t relevant because casinos statewide were closed from mid-March to early June 2020 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Before those closures, casinos had taken in more than $1 billion for three consecutive months.

They reached the $1 billion mark again in March.

Michael Lawton, senior analyst for the regulatory board, said winnings ticked up slightly in April at properties in the key Las Vegas Strip resort corridor, while casinos in downtown Las Vegas and the remainder of Clark County tallied all-time record winnings for consecutive months.

The Reno area recorded its highest casino winnings total since July 2008 and sports bet winnings statewide also set records in April, Lawton said.

The state collected more than $79 million in revenues based on the April numbers, up from nearly zero a year earlier.