‘March Madness’ atmosphere lifts Vegas economy from pandemic

Apr 28, 2022, 3:19 PM | Updated: 3:32 pm

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada casinos reported near-record March house winnings, while the airport in Las Vegas reported passenger traffic almost as heavy as pre-pandemic levels and tourism officials marked another big jump in visitor volume.

The state Gaming Control Board reported Thursday the $1.35 billion that casinos statewide reaped was just shy of the best-ever monthly mark of $1.36 billion set last July.

The state and Clark County set all-time records for house slot machine winnings, while the Las Vegas Strip recorded third-highest monthly slot winnings, board senior analyst Michael Lawton said.

“A traditional ‘March Madness’ atmosphere returned,” Lawton said, after COVID-19 restrictions including mask requirements were lifted in February. March featured a NASCAR race, a mixed martial arts bout and NCAA basketball events.

Sports books won almost $40 million on total wagers of $863 million during the month, Lawton added.

The number of visitors to Las Vegas increased to more than 3.3 million in March, up almost 50% from 2.2 million in March 2021, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

The authority noted the return of more trade shows and conventions, and said hotel occupancy at the more than 150,000 rooms in and around Las Vegas topped 80%.

Harry Reid International Airport tallied nearly 4.3 million passengers in March, down only about 140,000 from its pre-pandemic total in March 2019 — a year the airport tallied a record 51.5 million arriving and departing travelers.

The airport’s 154,000 international travelers in March was up more than 50% from February, and flights from overseas are scheduled to ramp up in April with additional service to cities in Mexico, Canada, Panama, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

International travel all but stopped during the coronavirus pandemic.

The state collected almost $98 million in taxes based on March 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.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., listens to a question during a news conference, March 30, 2022, in W...

Associated Press

Tuberville is ending blockade of most military nominees, clearing way for hundreds to be approved

Sen. Tommy Tuberville announced Tuesday that he's ending his blockade of hundreds of military promotions, following heavy criticism.

2 hours ago

An employee works inside the Hanwha Qcells Solar plant on Oct. 16, 2023, in Dalton, Ga. On Tuesday,...

Associated Press

US job openings fall to lowest level since March 2021 as labor market cools

U.S. employers posted 8.7 million job openings in October, the fewest since March 2021, in a sign that hiring is cooling.

3 hours ago

Megyn Kelly poses at The Hollywood Reporter's 25th annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast, Dec. 7,...

Associated Press

The fourth GOP debate will be a key moment for the young NewsNation cable network

By airing the fourth Republican presidential debate, NewsNation network will almost certainly reach the largest audience in its history.

4 hours ago

Lead water pipes pulled from underneath the street are seen in Newark, N.J., Oct. 21, 2021. (AP Pho...

Associated Press

Biden to require cities to replace harmful lead pipes within 10 years

The Biden administration has previously said it wants all of the nation's roughly 9 million lead pipes to be removed, and rapidly.

5 days ago

Facebook's Meta logo sign is seen at the company headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., on, Oct. 28, 2...

Associated Press

Meta shuts down thousands of fake Facebook accounts that were primed to polarize voters ahead of 2024

Meta said it removed 4789 Facebook accounts in China that targeted the United States before next year’s election.

5 days ago

A demonstrator in Tel Aviv holds a sign calling for a cease-fire in the Hamas-Israel war on Nov. 21...

Associated Press

Hamas releases a third group of hostages as part of truce, and says it will seek to extend the deal

The fragile cease-fire between Israel and Hamas was back on track Sunday as the first American was released under a four-day truce.

10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @KTAR923...

The 2023 Diamondbacks are a good example to count on the underdog

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the World Series as a surprise. That they made the playoffs at all, got past the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card round, swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS and won two road games in Philadelphia to close out a full seven-game NLCS went against every expectation. Now, […]


Midwestern University

Midwestern University: innovating Arizona health care education

Midwestern University’s Glendale Campus near Loop 101 and 59th Avenue is an established leader in health care education and one of Arizona’s largest and most valuable health care resources.



Importance of AC maintenance after Arizona’s excruciating heat wave

An air conditioning unit in Phoenix is vital to living a comfortable life inside, away from triple-digit heat.

‘March Madness’ atmosphere lifts Vegas economy from pandemic