Nevada’s Gaming Footprint

I’ve got a not-so-new and probably not very exciting report up over at It contains an accurate count of the numbers of slot machines, table games, and card games (mostly poker) in Nevada since 1963:

Nevada's Gaming Footprint, 1963-2009 (pdf)

A breakdown of total licenses and numbers of games, tables, and slots from 1963 to the present–restricted and non-restricted locations.

via UNLV Center for Gaming Research: Reports.

This report came out of an information request I had for the total number of slots for a few dates before online sources are available. Since the Nevada Gaming Commission’s Quarterly Report has this info, I figured that was the best place to look for it historically. Fortunately, we’ve got a run of the reports going back to 1955. Unfortunately, for the report’s first eight years no one thought to include the numbers of machines or tables being taxed.

It’s possible to back out the number of machines,etc, by dividing the total tax by the annual taxes paid, but I tried this with a few years that I had the correct info for and found that they didn’t match. In this case, no data is better than bad data.

This report includes both restricted and non-restricted locations, so we have a total count of all slots rather than just those in casinos. Basically, this report will tell you, for any given year between 1963 and 2009, how many places in Nevada were licensed to conduct gaming and how many slots, games (BJ, craps, et al), and tables (poker and pan) they had.

Some interesting facts:
From 1963 to 2009, the total number of locations increased by about 3 times, from 966 to 2,872. The number of games increased at about twice that rate, from 1,296 to 6,024. The number of slots grew by nearly 9 times, from 22,178 to 193,944. There are about 5.5 times as many poker tables in the state in 2009 than there were in 1963.

Since 2001, the total number of slot machines has declined from 217,221 to 193,944–almost 11%.

From the 1960s through 1990s, the number of slots roughly doubled ever ten years. Since then, the growth rate slowed and is now in a 9-year sustained decline.

From 2007 to 2009, the state lost 112 gaming locations.

There’s a lot that this report doesn’t cover that is in the source documents, including breakdowns on specific games. I could see doing a few more reports linking the data in the Quarterly Reports to the Gaming Revenue Reports, getting a complete picture of how many games there are, where they are located (by county), how much they make, and what percentage they hold. The biggest problem is that the Revenue Reports don’t start until the 1980s, so it’s going to be more limited than I’d like.

Ideally, I’d like to produce a compendium of table game mix for the state going back to 1931. I don’t know if that’s possible given the paucity of data from the period 1931-1955 (when there was no Gaming Control Board to centralize data collection). But we all have our challenges, I suppose.

Spread the love