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Nevada gambling rebound charts big month in casino winnings

Resorts World Las Vegas hotel-casino
AP Photo/John Locher, File
FILE - In this June 24, 2021, file photo, visitors crowd the casino during the opening night of the Resorts World Las Vegas hotel-casino in Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada’s tourism economy is putting the coronavirus pandemic behind it, with regulators reporting a 12th straight month of $1 billion or more in casino house winnings statewide and the airport serving Las Vegas planning to add international service in April.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board on Wednesday reported the best February ever in casino winnings, at $1.1 billion, in the key marker of state economic health. The state reaped almost $59 million in casino taxes based on the figure, up more than 34% from a year ago.

Harry Reid International Airport on Tuesday reported monthly passenger traffic more than doubled in February from a year ago, with 3.3 million arriving and departing passengers.

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That was down just 13.5% from the 3.8 million passengers tallied two years ago, in February 2020 — the last month before COVID-19 closed casinos and businesses for more than two months.

The airport formerly called McCarran International announced that 16 airlines will begin nonstop service in coming weeks to cities in Mexico, Canada, Panama, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland.

Unemployment figures also are rebounding, with the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reporting a statewide jobless rate last month of 5.1%.

That compared with a record low 3.6% in February 2020, before the figure skyrocketed to 30.1% two months later.