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Cy Ryan

August Gaming Win Rebounds

12 October 2004

CARSON CITY -- Fueled by strong play in the slot machines, Nevada casinos bounced back in August, winning $905.1 million, up 11.2 percent from a year ago.

The state Gaming Control Board reported today the $905.1 million was a record win for the month of August, surpassing the $839.5 million in August 2002.

In July, the gross revenue from the gaming clubs fell by 1.5 percent from the previous year.

Gov. Kenny Guinn said, "The record earnings for August is a good way to rebound from an off-month in July.

"I am confident that our gaming industry will continue to produce positive numbers in the coming months with strong tourism and convention bookings."

Frank Streshley, senior research analyst for the board, said slot machine win rose to $641.3 million during August, a 21.9 percent increase. But he said part of the increase was due to the timing of the month. The end of July fell on a weekend and the slot machines were not emptied until Monday in August. So part of the revenue from July was accounted for in August.

Still, he said, slot machine revenue for the two-month period combined was a "strong" 9 percent increase. He said the two-month average was better than expected.

But gross revenue from table games in August fell 9.4 percent to $255 million. Streshley said that was due in part to there being one less weekend in August this year compared with last year. He said typically high-end players come to Nevada for table games on the weekend while slot play is more even through the week.

Win, or gross revenue, is computed before casinos deduct business expenses and taxes.

The casinos paid $59.5 million, an increase of 8.6 percent. For the current fiscal year, the gaming tax has contributed $163.2 million, which is 7.1 percent above the state budget predictions.

Statewide winnings from blackjack fell by 12.5 percent. Streshley said the players won more from the casinos than usual in the month.

Win on craps increased 2.1 percent; roulette was up 4.4 percent; baccarat fell 18.4 percent and sports pool was off 93.8 percent. Streshley said casinos "got hit pretty hard in baseball betting." He said the books lost $1.2 million in baseball wagers during the month.

Winnings from the 43 casinos along the Las Vegas Strip rose by 7.2 percent to $429.5 million. Slot machine play produced $247 million, up 23.5 percent. Table games fell 9.7 percent.

The board said blackjack games on the Strip won $64.8 million, off 15.4 percent. Streshley said, "Strip properties got hit pretty hard in 21," with the players winning at a better percentage than average in blackjack.

Craps produced $19.3 million, up 2.8 percent; roulette registered $20.3 million in gross revenue, up 6.3 percent; baccarat was off 17.4 percent to $26.9 million; and the sports pool fell to $212,000, off 94.8 percent. He said the casinos along the Strip lost $667,000 on baseball bets.

Downtown Las Vegas casinos won $54.9 million, up 2.1 percent. Slot play was off 1.7 percent but table game revenue rose 12.1 percent. Streshley said this was "unlike the rest of the state" where the slot win rose but the table play was off.

North Las Vegas casinos reported $25.2 million in revenue, up 52.1 percent. Slot win rose 64.6 percent but this was due mainly to some of the slot machine revenue played in July being counted in August. Gross revenue on the tables fell 21.3 percent.

The board said Laughlin casinos won $47.7 million, up 10.4 percent. Slot revenue rose 11.2 percent and game and table win was up 5.2 percent.

Casinos on the Boulder Strip reported $74.7 million, up 57.7 percent. Slot win rose 71 percent, due to the timing of the count but game and table win was off 10 percent.

Mesquite casinos posted $9.5 million in gross revenue, up 7.9 percent. Slot machine win rose 9.9 percent but game and table win was down 6 percent.

Casinos in the balance of Clark County posted $84.6 million in gross revenue, up 29 percent. Slot machine revenue rose 37.5 percent but game and table win was off 13.1 percent.

The board said casinos in Washoe County won $94.4 million, down 4.8 percent. And this compares with a decline of 1.7 percent in August last year. Slot machine win was down 2.7 percent and game and table revenue fell 12.5 percent.

South Lake Tahoe casinos reported $40.9 million, up 10.3 percent. Slot machine win rose 30.1 percent but table winnings fell by 24.9 percent.

Carson Valley area clubs reported $10.4 million in revenue up 5.5 percent. This is the first month the casinos in this area have topped the $10 million in gross win and the 16th straight month of increased winnings. Slot machines win rose 5.5 percent. Table win was up 0.4 percent in August.

Elko County clubs posted $20.1 million in revenue, down 2.9 percent. Slot machine win was off 1.1 percent and game and table revenue fell by 10 percent.