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Chris Sieroty

Nevada reports gaming revenues of $932 million for February

10 April 2012

State gaming officials said Nevada gambling revenues increased 5.7 percent in February to $932 million, a figure analysts said showed "solid progress" despite a weaker convention calendar and Chinese New Year falling in January.

The modest increase last month was preceded by an 18.4 percent increase in January, when Nevada casinos collected more than $1.038 billion from gamblers during the month.

Gaming numbers in January were boosted by the a calendar change that saw the lucrative Chinese New Year fall on Jan. 23.

Nevada Gaming Control Board officials said Tuesday that Strip revenues of $531 million were up 3.3 percent compared with February 2011. Downtown Las Vegas reported gaming revenues of $45 million last month, a 12.7 percent increase from February 2011.

The Boulder Strip brought in $71.6 million last month, up almost 23 percent. Mesquite casinos generated just over $11 million, up 2.55 percent, while Laughlin saw gaming revenues decline 0.21 percent last month to $42.9 million

Overall, Clark County reported a 5.5 percent increase in February gaming revenues to $812.1 million.

"Considering the weaker convention calendar in the first quarter of the year, this is solid progress thus far," said Brent Pirosch, director of Gaming Consulting Services for the Global Gaming Group at CB Richard Ellis in Las Vegas.

State gaming tax collections were up 69 percent in February to more than $70 million, according to gaming officials. So far, Nevada has collected more than $127 million in gaming taxes since Jan. 1.

Baccarat, the game favored by high-end gamblers, reported a 19.06 percent declined in revenues last month to $114.1 million.

"The calendar shift negatively impacted February 2012 baccarat revenue," said David Bain, a gaming analyst with Sterne Agee. "We expected a slightly better baccarat result, despite the calendar shift" it was up against a 31 percent declined in baccarat comps.

"However, we believe February's strength in core games outweighs less predictable baccarat," Bain said in a research note.

Revenues from blackjack and craps were up 18.2 percent and 16.1 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, roulette revenues also increased 18.1 percent last month.

Smaller games, such as minibaccarat and Pai Gow, each recorded 59 percent decreases in revenues last month, compared with February 2011.