Blackjack on the rise in Nevada’s casinos, as other games see a decrease in play

  • Nevada Gaming Control Board figures show Blackjack is on the rise
  • It grossed $106,374,000 in February, compared to $98,421,000 for Baccarat

Nevada’s recent casino results have shown that Blackjack is becoming increasingly more popular than Baccarat in the state’s casinos.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board figures show that Blackjack proved more successful in February, with a state-wide gross win of $106,374,000 compared with Baccarat’s gross of $98,421,000, something which rarely happens in Nevada.

Nevada Gaming Control Board figures show a rise in Blackjack play during February
Nevada Gaming Control Board figures show a rise in Blackjack play during February

Despite an expected increase in Baccarat, largely due to the Chinese New Year celebrations in February, there was a state-wide 19% decrease in the game compared with a 12% increase in Blackjack.

Players wanting something different?

These figures apparently show a changing preference for players in Nevada and particularly Las Vegas, where Baccarat has usually been the more favoured of the two.

Nevada as a whole saw a 4.48% decrease in gaming revenue though this has largely been attributed to February 2016 having had one more day than in 2017, therefore being able to generate more revenue.

However, whilst the one less day this year may have contributed to the decrease in gaming revenue, the noticeable decline in players playing Baccarat is hitting the overall casino revenue produced by the state of Nevada.

Decrease in Chinese VIPs

Whilst Blackjack is fast rising to the top as the most played game, it’s 12% increase still doesn’t make up for the 19% decrease in people playing Baccarat, and revenue has ultimately fallen due partly to this factor.

There may be a few reasons behind why Baccarat playing is decreasing but one of the main issues is believed to be the lesser numbers of VIP Chinese gamblers entering Nevada as Chinese president Xi Jinping’s assessment and control of money leaving China continues to grow.

Baccarat is famous for being a favourite of Asian players and its popularity over recent years has led to Nevada’s casinos focusing on it greatly and ensuring that there is more space in casinos for Baccarat tables.

With the latest figures showing that Blackjack is quickly rising to the top ahead of Baccarat, it remains to be seen whether casinos in Nevada may be less inclined to focus on it so much and, instead, opt to make Blackjack their priority moving forwards.

OUR VERDICT

It’s important to remember that figures only ever tell part of a story. To suggest that the offset in revenue is due to an extra day in the previous year may be an all too simple explanation for what is, seemingly, a decline in Nevada’s casino revenue. For example, a closer look at the figures shows that in most casino games daily averages were down, which is relatively rare – as is the fact that Blackjack ‘beats’ Baccarat. Roulette also saw significant growth, at some 59%. So, what’s going on? It’s difficult to make a judgement on one set of figures for one month in a year, but does it show a shift in what casino players want? Perhaps. Let’s not forget that casinos are looking to attract a younger generation and games such as Blackjack and Roulette are well know, relatively easy to pick up and quick to get started in. Looking further afield it will also be interesting to keep an eye on Macau. The Chinese region’s casino industry is growing rapidly, which could account for the apparent loss in Asian players in Nevada.

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