High-Speed Rail Project Awaiting NV Bond Approval

VIrgin Trains USAJust last week, California approved $600 million in tax-exempt bonds for the Las Vegas-to-Southern California high-speed rail project by Virgin Trains USA.

The train, which will be the first-of-its-kind in the US, was already granted $2.4 billion in private equity bonds, but California’s bond approval marked the project’s biggest leap forward yet.

And last month, the U.S. Department of Transportation approved $1 billion in bonds that would go toward the highly-anticipated project.

The last major milestone in the high-speed rail development will be approval of Nevada’s bond.

Should Nevada approve the bond in a timely manner, the project will begin by the end of 2020. The service is expected to begin operations near the end of 2023.

Las Vegas Will Benefit from High-Speed Rail

Las Vegas will likely see an increase in visitors coming from Southern California, especially those who are looking to make a weekend trip and not have to deal with the traffic on Interstate 15 heading there and back.

Because of the expected increase in Southern California visitors, Virgin plans to strike deals with Las Vegas resorts and convention centers to make the trip more convenient and streamlined for the traveler before they even set foot on the train to Sin City.

According to Virgin Trains, they expect the high-speed train service will generate $1.98 billion in direct economic impact for Nevada. The company estimates it will create $73 million in state and local tax revenue each year.

Environmental Impact of Rail Service

Not only will the modern rail service create a major boost in Nevada’s economy, it’s also expected to make the air a little cleaner on I-15. Through the rail service, it will remove an estimated 4.5 million cars from Interstate 15 yearly.

That means that an impressive 300,000 metric tons of carbon will be effectively taken out of the air, according to an analysis report by Virgin Trains.

Rail Line Details; Route and Amenities

Currently, the rail will be built out to go from Las Vegas, at a starting location near the South Premium Outlet Mall, to Victorville, California, where the rail line to end initially.

Future expansion details are looking to take the train route from Victorville to downtown Los Angeles. This will make it convenient for travelers coming from Las Vegas, as it will eliminate having to come up with a way to get from the Victor Valley to Los Angeles proper.

The trains will be able to carry up to 600 people and get passengers between Las Vegas and Victorville within 90 minutes since it’ll be moving at a speed of up to 180 mph.

The high-speed train will also feature amenities on board, including food and beverage service.

About Virgin Trains USA

Known as Brightline rail service until mid-2020, Virgin Trains USA is an inner-city rail system in the US that was recently introduced to build privately-funded passenger systems in locations in the US.

It began operating in Jan. 2018. Fortress Investment Group owns and operates the rail system, and is currently the only privately owned and operated intercity passenger rail system in the states.


McCarran Airport Had a Record-Breaking 51.5 Million Passengers in 2019

Airplane Flying Over Las Vegas StripMore than 51.5 million passengers touched down into McCarran International Airport last year, county officials said on Wednesday. It’s a new record for the ever-bustling Las Vegas airport. According to a press release from the Clark County Department of Aviation, it’s also the third straight year the airport has broken their record for passenger traffic, and the ninth straight year of year-over-year traffic increase.

Last October saw the airport’s busiest month ever, with 4.61 million passengers passing through its doors.

“The record passenger volume we’re seeing here at McCarran speaks to the widespread appeal of Las Vegas as a destination,” said Rosemary Vassiliadis, director of aviation for Clark County, Nevada — where Las Vegas is located — in a statement. “They’re coming for leisure, for sporting events and concerts, and they’re coming for business meetings and conventions.”

Passenger numbers are not only rising for the city of Las Vegas, but they have been steadily rising on the national level for the past several years. The national record hit the 1 billion annual passengers mark for the first-time ever in 2018, according to U.S. Department of Transportation data.

Domestic and International Travel Trends

Domestic Demand

The growth in Las Vegas is largely driven by strong domestic demand. Domestic travel was up 3.9%, from 44.86 million people in 2018 to 46.91 million in 2019, according to new figures.

Bargain carriers including Frontier Airlines, Spirit Airlines and Sun Country Airlines are among those growing the fastest at McCarran. Seats were forecasted to increase nearly 39% on Frontier, nearly 24% on Spirit, and a whooping 82.5% on Sun Country year-over-year in 2019, according to Cirium schedules.

Some recent additions include new Frontier service to seven more cities, including San Diego, Detroit, Dallas, Houston and Philadelphia. Sun Country also expanded its Las Vegas network to 13 nonstop routes, including Anchorage, San Antonio, Providence, Minneapolis, and Portland.

Nonstop International Routes

International travel ticked up in 2019, from 3.76 million fliers in 2018 to 3.81 million last year. Several carriers began offering international routes, including nonstop flights to Amsterdam, Paris, Israel, and Germany.

Landing a nonstop to Japan is airport officials’ main focus, with McCarran’s chief marketing officer Chris Jones describing a flight to Japan as “hugely important.” Currently, nonstop flights to Japan are only available from Dallas’ DFW airport and Los Angeles’ LAX airport.

International guests are big business, too, as international visitors typically stay a full day in Las Vegas longer than domestic visitors do.

International visitors make up approximately 17 percent of Las Vegas’ total visitors, but represent 20 percent of visitor spending, with 57 percent staying for four or more days.

Soaring into a Bright Future

The steady passenger growth has inspired Las Vegas officials plan to begin studying a new airport for the city. Environmental studies are set to begin next year on a facility that could open by 2040.

“As an industry sustained by passengers we are so grateful to the locals and visitors who chose to travel in 2019.

I’m excited to see what’s in store for 2020 and beyond as even more projects come online that we know will draw additional travelers to Southern Nevada,” said Vassiliadis.

Nevada’s November Gaming Revenue Dropped This Year

For most of 2019, gambling revenue in Las Vegas has increased. It’s an exciting statistic, considering casino competition has been increasing around the US. Unfortunately, Nevada’s November gaming revenue dropped. Revenue Drop Picture

It’s not entirely surprising. November is considered one of the least-busy months for Las Vegas. It’s likely that gambling revenue will increase once again in December. Today, we’re going to look at exactly how much gaming revenue fell last month.

Let’s get into it!

2019 Proves to Be a Fantastic Year For Las Vegas Casinos

Las Vegas is still the country’s biggest and best gambling destination. In recent years, however, a huge number of states have begun to expand their casino industries. Many felt that this rise in competition would take a toll on Nevada. This did not turn out to be the case.

As we’ve already mentioned, gambling revenue has increased here for almost the entire year. This is especially true on the Las Vegas Strip. Here, nearly all of the casinos have experienced massive revenue gains.

This Summer was a particularly impressive season for gambling venues in Las Vegas. During June, July, and August, gaming revenue surged in the city. Hotel occupancy was also close to reaching record-breaking levels.

Even during Fall, casino revenue surged here. In October, gambling revenue here surpassed $1 billion. Revenue from the Las Vegas Strip during this month reached $538.5 million.

The next month, gambling revenue finally dropped. Reports on Nevada’s November gaming revenue have just been released. Here’s how the state’s gambling venues performed.

Nevada’s November Gaming Revenue Falls in November

November isn’t typically thought of as a popular gambling month for Las Vegas. Many individuals are gearing up for the holidays and aren’t interested in wagering their money inside casinos. This week, the NV Gaming Control Board released reports on Nevada’s November gaming revenue. Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out great.

According to these reports, gambling revenue was down 3.1% when compared to November of 2018. Overall, the state brought in $937.5 million in gambling revenue. In Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, revenue dropped by 3.4% to $805.2 million.

North Las Vegas casinos performed the worst. Casinos in this area generated just $19.3 million. This represents an astounding 15.3% drop from the same time last year.

Historically speaking, Baccarat is one of the best games for casinos to generate revenue. Interestingly, Baccarat revenue dropped significantly in November. Michael Lawton, a senior research analyst for the state Gaming Control Board, commented on this to the media this week.

“The continued trend of decreased baccarat volumes was the cause for this month’s decline as volumes of $557 million were down $247.4 million or 30.8 percent,” he said. “Baccarat volumes have only increased twice this calendar year and are currently down 14.9 percent through November.”

Sports betting proved to bring in a significant amount of revenue last month. Sports pools won $31 million, up 14.3 percent or $3.9 million compared to 2018. Overall, Nevada’s November gaming revenue drop doesn’t mean much. It’s likely that things have already bounced back in December.

Construction Continues on Resorts World Las Vegas

For years, officials in Las Vegas have discussed the impact that Resorts World will have on the city. It’s the most expensive casino-resort ever built in the city. Most feel it will be one of the best gambling venues ever built.

Initially, the hope was that this venue would open in 2020. Not long ago, former MGM Resorts executive Scott Sibella became president of Resorts World Las Vegas. He pushed the opening of the venue back until 2021.

Sibella claims that he wants to ensure everything is perfect by the time it opens to the public. He also added several entertainment features to the resort including a 5,000-seat theater.

Resorts World Las Vegas is opening in the northern area of the Las Vegas Strip. This is an area of the city that’s struggled to attract tourists. Hopefully, this new casino-resort will bring new life to the area.

Nevada’s November gaming revenue dropped. For most of 2019, however, the state has generated a huge amount of money from its gambling venues. Make sure to stay tuned for an update on December’s revenue earnings!

Las Vegas Strip Revenue Increases for 3rd Straight Month

  • Las Vegas Strip revenue jumps significantly in August.
  • Table games and slots help to bring in major revenue earnings.
  • Sports betting revenue in Las Vegas also increased last month.

For much of 2019, Nevada’s gambling revenue dropped. Things are now beginning to change, and Las Vegas Strip revenue has increased for the third straight month. It’s fantastic news for casinos operating in this city.

Las Vegas Casinos

Las Vegas is also experiencing a boom in tourism, as well. Today, we’re going to look at how much gambling revenue has increased here. We’ll also talk about what forms of gambling helped to bring in the most money for Las Vegas casinos.

NV Gaming Control Board Confirms Las Vegas Strip Revenue Increase

Business has been booming in Las Vegas for the past few months. The summer months brought a major increase in tourism and gamblers to this city. Today, the Nevada Gaming Control Board released official gambling revenue figures. Things have improved once again during the month of August.

According to the Control Board, Nevada’s overall gambling revenue earnings were up 4.3% to $952.4 million in August. In the previous two months, gambling revenue here exceeded $1 billion. Las Vegas Strip revenue increased by an impressive 8.9%.

It’s a welcome sight for gambling operators in Las Vegas. From January to May, revenue earnings in this city dropped. Gaming winnings are up by 6.2% overall during the past three months.

Interestingly, Downtown Las Vegas saw it’s gambling revenue drop last month. Casinos in this area generated just $45.3 million. This represents a 1.9% dip from the same month in 2018.

Statewide, five out of the 20 gambling markets saw a revenue decline in August. Later today, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority will release tourism numbers in August.

Table Games and Slots Help to Boost Revenue

Las Vegas Strip revenue was boosted thanks to a few select games. Table games, slots, and sports betting were hugely popular. Micheal Lawton, a senior research analyst for the NV Control Board, commented on the revenue increase to the media today.

“This was the result of strong non-baccarat game and table play which benefited from increased volumes and significant increases to hold percentages,” He said. “For the month, (blackjack) was up 29.2 percent, craps was up 67.3 percent, roulette was up 43.3 percent and sports were up 111 percent.”

Slot gambling has been growing in 2019. Lawton claims that there was a 5.2% increase in slot volume last month. Baccarat revenue was also up 6%. It’s still unclear which casinos brought in the most revenue. Wynn Las Vegas is considered to be the highest-earning gambling venue in the state, yet this can change month-to-month.

Things don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. Despite the increase in competition around the country, a huge number of individuals continue to visit and gamble in Las Vegas.

New Jersey is Still Considered the Sports Betting Capital of the US

For decades, Nevada was the only state in the US that could legally offer sports gambling options. This changed in 2018 when PASPA was struck down. Today, 19 states have legalized and regulated the sports betting industry. New Jersey now has the most successful sports gambling market in the country.

Sports betting revenue is surging every single month in Atlantic City. Here, both land-based and online sports betting is legal. Sports gambling brought in $25.2 million for the state of New Jersey last month.

Recently, several casinos in this city revealed new sportsbooks for their patrons. Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts both have brand new sports betting areas. Caesars unveiled the “The Book” at Bally’s Atlantic City and MGM launched the “Money Bar & Book,” at the Borgata.

New Jersey has generated more sports betting revenue than Las Vegas for the majority of 2019. This state draws in many bettors from New York and Delaware, who can cross into the New Jersey border to place their online sports wagers.

Las Vegas Strip revenue is going up. Hopefully, this increase continues for the rest of the year. Stay tuned for more updates over the next few weeks!