There are 103 casinos in Las Vegas, not including “Louie,” a taxi driver who runs a semi-regular craps game behind the 7-11 on Friday nights.
By “Las Vegas” I mean the Las Vegas valley, including downtown, the Strip, and suburbs, even though, technically, some of these are not in the city limits of Las Vegas. In fact, parts of the Las Vegas Strip are not even, technically, in the city of Las Vegas. Either way, we count those casinos in the 103 total.
For our purposes, we are using figures from the Nevada Gaming Commission’s “unrestricted gaming licenses,” which defines a casino as a business with more than 15 slot machines or one with table games.
So in other words, we’re not counting the local 7-11 with a video poker machine as a casino. The neighborhood bar with a few video poker machines, or the corner gas station with a few slot machines aren’t considered casinos by the Nevada Gaming Commission, and thus, aren’t counted here.
(Related: How many casinos are in Nevada?)
There is no official record of the number of casinos within the exact city limits of Las Vegas, so we have to go off of the reported figures as determined by the Nevada State Gaming Control Board, which is a pretty good source considering they have authority over the ownership, games, licenses, and everything else to do with casinos and gambling in Nevada.
There are 171 casinos in Clark County, as of January 1, 2016, according to the Nevada State Gaming Control Board. (This is down 5 from 176 casinos in Clark County in 2015). For those of you unaware, Las Vegas is in Clark County, as are the gambling destinations of Mesquite, and Laughlin, Nevada. This 171 figure also includes the casinos in nearby Primm. Overall, Clark County has roughly 2 million people, and encompasses all of Southern Nevada.
87% of the state’s gambling revenue comes from casinos in Clark County, Nevada.
Video of one of the 171 Clark County Casinos:
The 171 casinos in Clark County took in $9.6 billion in gaming revenue for the 2015 calendar year. This is up slightly from the $9.5 billion in gaming revenue for 2014, but down from the $9.7 billion in gambling revenue in 2013. The county had $9.4 billion dollars in gambling revenue in 2012. Yet, we can’t count the 171 casino figure in our Las Vegas figure, seeing as how some of those casinos are pretty far away from town.
(Related: How many casinos are on the Las Vegas Strip?)
Fortunately, the state of Nevada separates gaming revenue figures into many different geographical sections – four of which would apply to Las Vegas: The Strip, Downtown, North Las Vegas, and The Boulder Stip.
Of the 171 casinos in Clark County, Nevada, there are currently (as of January 1, 2016), 42 casinos in the Las Vegas Strip area.
For their purposes however, the Nevada Gaming Commission includes casinos that are not actually on Las Vegas Boulevard as being Strip casinos in their figures. These include major resorts like the Rio, the Palms, the Hard Rock, and the Westgate. Also included in this list, are off-Strip properties like Hooters, the Orleans, and the Gold Coast. As you might expect, these 42 casinos represent the vast majority of gaming income in Las Vegas. In fact, in 2015, the Strip accounted for 57% of all the gaming revenue in Nevada.
In 2015, Las Vegas Strip casinos generated $6.348 billion in gaming revenue, down just slightly from the $6.372 billion in gaming revenues generated in 2014. It was also down slightly from the $6.5 billion in gaming revenues achieved in 2013.
Las Vegas Strip Gaming Revenue
2014: $6.372 billion
2013: $6.5 billion
2012: $6.2 billion
(Go here to find the answer to the question: What was the first casino on the Las Vegas Strip?)
There are nineteen casinos in the downtown Las Vegas/Fremont Street area. These 19 downtown casinos had gaming revenues of $542 million in 2015, up from $511 million in 2014. up a tad from the almost exactly 1/2 billion dollars in 2013, ($500,964,000), and above the $509,144,000 revenue in 2012 for downtown.
Downtown Las Vegas Gaming Revenue
2014: $511 million
2013: $501 million
2012: $509 million
In contrast, the 42 casinos on the Las Vegas Strip took in approximately $6.48 billion in 2015. So although the Strip has just over twice as many casinos, it has over 12 times more gambling revenue than downtown. This really isn’t surprising given the modest size of many of the cozy casinos on Fremont Street as compared to the behemoths like the Bellagio and MGM Grand on the Strip.
North Las Vegas
North Las Vegas has 11 casinos, again, according to the Nevada State Gaming Control Board. Casinos in North Las Vegas are mainly locals-oriented, and are, (how should I say this?) less glamorous than their cousins on the Strip.
North Las Vegas Casinos include the Station chain properties: Santa Fe Station Hotel and Casino and the Texas Station, as well as the old-school classic joint: Jerry’s Nugget, which has been around since 1964. My friend Ken stops there every time he’s in Las Vegas, as they always have very low minimums on the craps tables. Also in this North Las Vegas category are the Cannery Casino and the Aliante Hotel and Casino, which was built in 2008.
In 2015, these North Las Vegas casinos brought in $271 million in gaming revenue, up 2.76% from the $263 million in gaming revenue in 2014.
The Boulder Highway area covers some casinos in Las Vegas suburbs, or those on the outskirts. These are mostly locals places, and include casino/hotels such as Sam’s Town, Boulder Station, Fiesta Station, Green Valley Ranch, and such. There are 31 casinos in this area.
It may surprise you to learn that casinos in the Boulder Strip area bring in more gambling revenue than downtown Las Vegas. This area of mostly “locals” casinos is roughly seven to ten miles east and southeast of the Las Vegas Strip. While many tourists have probably never played there, this section of town, which includes Henderson, Nevada, is an impressive player in the casino market.
There are 31 casinos on the Boulder Strip. These thirty-one casinos brought in $784 million in gaming revenue during 2015, versus the $772 million in gaming revenue in 2014. This marks a slight downturn from both the $786 million in revenue generated in 2013 and the $796 million in winnings in 2012 ($796,671,000 to be exact). Unlike the Strip and Downtown Las Vegas, this area of casinos also saw a drop in revenue from 2011. It was just a drop of .35% from 2011, but it was a drop nonetheless.
(Top photo courtesy of David Stanley via Flickr).