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Cy Ryan

Gambling Revenue Hits Highest November Level

11 January 2005

CARSON CITY -- Nevada's 347 casinos enjoyed their best November ever, winning $862.1 million from gamblers, up 12.9 percent compared with November 2003.

Powerful performances in Las Vegas locals casino markets as well as downtown Las Vegas contributed to the state's haul, the Gaming Control Board reported today.

November's statewide win, the amount won from gamblers, was the fourth straight month of a double-digit increase and surpassed the previous record for the late-autumn month, topping November 1999 by $55 million.

The increase was fueled by strong slot machine play, as a 22.3 percent jump in slot win more than offset a 6.7 percent drop in table-game win.

Winnings at downtown Las Vegas casinos rose 10.2 percent, the largest percentage increase since January 2003.

Gov. Kenny Guinn said he was pleased with the performance of the statewide casinos and added it "helps the people of Nevada."

"November's gaming win increase of 12.87 percent was very strong, especially when you take into account the unfavorable calendar with two less weekend days this month and the loss of the Comdex trade show," the governor said.

The state collected $54.6 million in taxes from the casinos, up 17.5 percent or $8.1 million compared with a year ago. Through December, six months into the fiscal year, the casinos have paid $342.3 million in taxes, up 6.8 percent and 16.4 percent higher than the forecast of the Economic Forum.

The board reported that statewide slot machine winnings rose 22.3 percent to $615.5 million. Frank Streshley, senior research analyst for the board, said part of the increase was due to timing. He said October ended on a weekend and that many casinos waited to empty their slots and record their slot winnings in November.

Table-game win fell 6.7 percent to $237.8 million. The board said the sports pools lost $1 million.

Blackjack winnings statewide rose 12.2 percent; craps was up 19.4 percent; roulette rose 15.5 percent and baccarat increased 18.5 percent.

Downtown Las Vegas casinos reported $57.6 million in gross revenue, computed before taxes and business expenses. Winnings from table games in the 17-casino market rose 17.8 percent to $16.1 million and slot revenue jumped 7.3 percent to $40.9 million. The 10.2 percent was the biggest since 11.7 percent in January 2003. The downtown casinos were one of the few places in the state to post a positive win on table games, Streshley said.

The 43 casinos along the Las Vegas Strip won $423.9 million, up 9.3 percent. Slot revenue jumped 20.4 percent to $252.9 million but revenue from table games fell 4.9 percent to $166 million.

Strip casinos registered a 16.4 percent increase in blackjack; a 22 percent gain in craps; an 18.6 percent in roulette and a 19.6 percent jump in baccarat. But the sports pools in the casinos lost $2.4 million, down 110.4 percent and there was a drop of 18.3 percent in mini-baccarat to $10.4 million.

Streshley said the Strip casinos were helped by the Shane Mosley-Winky Wright fight at Mandalay Bay.

The board reported North Las Vegas casinos won $24.2 million, up 24.9 percent. Revenue from slot machines produced $21.8 million, up 32.6 percent. Win from table games fell 25.7 percent to $2 million.

The 33 casinos on the Boulder Strip produced $74.5 million, up 40.6 percent. Slot machine revenue skyrocketed 55.4 percent to $66.6 million but table games plummeted 26 percent to $7.1 million.

Laughlin casinos reported $47.5 million in gambling revenue, up 6.6 percent. It was the tenth straight month of increased win for Laughlin clubs. Slot revenue rose 10.3 percent to $41.4 million but table winnings fell 16.4 percent to $5.5 million.

Mesquite casinos reported revenue of $10.3 million, up 12.8 percent. Slot machines produced $8.6 million, up 17.1 percent but table games were off 8 percent to $1.5 million.

The Board said the balance of Clark County reported casino revenue at $82.5 million, up 26.2 percent and the fourth straight month of a double-digit increase. Slot machine winnings rose 38.1 percent to $71.8 million. Table game revenue dropped 22.1 percent to $10.1 million.

Casinos in Washoe County reported $78.8 million, up 3 percent. Streshley said this was the third straight month of increased revenue. "This is very encouraging" he said. Washoe County's Reno casinos compete with tribal casinos in California.

South Lake Tahoe casinos produced $21.6 million, up 5 percent; Elko County reported $19.3 million in gross revenue, up 13.4 percent and the Carson Valley area registered an 11.8 percent gain to $9.1 million and the 19th straight month of a positive performance.