Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
LAS VEGAS --Fueled by a surge in table game play on the Strip, Nevada casinos in October recorded their second-best month ever, winning $924.9 million from customers, numbers reported Friday by the state Gaming Control Board show. The figure was a 13 percent increase from a year ago and the amount was second only to the March 2004 total win of $930 million, an all-time high.
Strip casinos won $491.9 million in the month, $83 million more from customers than in the previous October. The 20.3 percent increase was the largest monthly percentage increase on the Strip since Nove
mber 1999. Frank Streshley, a senior research analyst with the gaming control board, said healthy table game play, especially baccarat on the Strip, boosted the state's total win. On the whole, table game play was up 30.8 percent with baccarat reporting a statewide win of $57.1 million win -- $56.7 on the Strip -- an increase of 160 percent.
Streshley said the MGM Grand hosted a large baccarat tournament in the middle of the month, while the weak U.S. dollar helped drive an increase in international customers. In addition, the calendar afforded October two extra weekend days as compared with October a year ago.
"High-end play has increased because of the international customer," Streshley said. "October showed once again how baccarat can really make a month."
He added that even when the baccarat numbers are backed out, Nevada's gaming win for October was still almost a 9 percent increase.
Deutsche Bank gaming analyst Marc Falcone said Nevada casinos had an impressive month.
"While October benefited from a favorable calendar, Strip gaming revenue performance was still quite remarkable," Falcone said in a note to investors. "The strength does not come as a complete surprise, considering Mandalay Resort Group's recently reported strong third quarter ended in October. The Strip continues to perform on all cylinders."
Brian Gordon of Las Vegas-based Applied Analysis, a financial consulting firm, said the gaming win reflects a strong amount of activity as volume of play has also grown significantly.
"The latest numbers show that the health of the tourism market in Nevada is strong, which bodes well for the industry," Gordon said. "We are clearly out of the September 11th doldrums, and there is a tremendous amount of optimism moving forward."
With two months of reporting left in 2004, Streshley is certain a statewide record for the yearly win is on the horizon.
"March was obviously a record and the months of August, September and October also recorded all-time highs," Streshley said. "We are definitely on a record pace for 2004."
The statewide win translated into $63 million in percentage fees Nevada casinos contributed to the state's tax coffers, a 9.88 percent increase compared to a year ago. Clark County casinos on a whole won $766.7 million, a 15.4 percent increase from a year ago. Casinos downtown won $57.9 million, a less than 1 percent increase, while Mesquite's seven casinos showed a 21.5 percent jump over 2003, winning $11.9 million. Streshley said the Mesquite numbers were an all-time monthly record for the community. Washoe County casinos won $92.2 million, a 2.8 percent increase.
The only market that suffered in October was South Lake Tahoe, where casinos reported a $4 million decrease from 2003, down 16.4 percent. Streshley said inclement weather and highway closures affected tourist travel into the community near the California border.
Copyright GamingWire. All rights reserved.