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Data shows overseas flights, big April events boost Vegas casinos

LAS VEGAS >> Gambling in Nevada continued a 14-month hot streak in April and a return of international flights boosted travel nearly to levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic began more than two years ago, according to Las Vegas airport, tourism and state casino revenue reports.

The $1.13 billion that casinos statewide reported winning last month represented the best April ever for the state, Clark County and the Las Vegas Strip, the state Gaming Control Board said today.

Nevada casinos have now reported winning at least $1 billion every month since March 2021.

“This month’s total win amount represents the highest April total gaming win recorded all-time for the state, Clark County and the Strip … aided by a very robust event calendar in addition to the continued return of international visitors,” said Michael Lawton, senior Gaming Control Board analyst.

Reid International Airport on Wednesday reported handling almost 4.26 million arriving and departing passengers last month. That was just below the 4.28 million travelers in April 2019.

The more than 200,000 international travelers counted at the airport last month compared with about 31,000 a year ago, with almost all flights from overseas suspended during the pandemic.

Lawton noted the airport ramped up nonstop service in April with flights to and from cities in Mexico, Canada, Panama, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

The nearly 3.4 million Southern Nevada tourists tallied by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority was up more than 31% last month compared with April 2021, but down 4.5% from the same month in 2019.

Convention attendance was up dramatically from last year, but still down almost 29% compared with April 2019.

Las Vegas also hosted several big special entertainment events, Lawton said, including four sold-out nights at Allegiant Stadium by South Korean boy band BTS; the big National Association of Broadcasters show at the Las Vegas Convention Center; and the National Football League draft at several venues.

The Palms Casino Resort also reopened under its new owner, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

The state collected almost $70 million in taxes based on April casino winnings, the Gaming Control Board said. The figure is important because casino taxes make up about 17% of state revenues, second only to sales taxes. Nevada has no personal income tax.

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