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Cy Ryan

Las Vegas Strip, Locals Drive Record-Setting July Casino Win

9 September 2005

CARSON CITY, Nevada -- If Nevada's casinos are running on all cylinders -- and they are -- the Las Vegas Strip is a V-12 Maserati.

Turbocharged by a 22.7 percent boost from the Strip's 43 casinos, the state Gaming Control Board this morning reported another monthly record as Nevada casinos won $958.4 million from gamblers in July, 17.9 percent better than the $812.7 million won in July 2004.

The locals markets on the Boulder Strip and in North Las Vegas provided additional rocket fuel, topping their year-ago performances by 29.2 percent and 27.1 percent, respectively.

And while statewide slot winnings were up a solid 12 percent to $632.6 million, it was the green-felt winnings on blackjack and baccarat tables that were the biggest eye-openers.

The state's 125 baccarat tables won $50.1 million, up an amazing 69.9 percent. The Strip is home to 118 of the baccarat games, favored by the world's biggest bettors and where all but $100,000 of the impressive baccarat haul was won.

The biggest table-game win, as usual, was won from blackjack players, who dropped $115.1 million statewide, up 38.2 percent, and $71.3 million on the Strip, up an astronomical 47.2 percent.

The statewide 17.9 percent jump in total gaming win represented the biggest percentage increase since November 1999 when revenues jumped 21 percent.

And July also marked the 12th straight month of record monthly casino win.

The only market in the state that declined was downtown Las Vegas where revenues fell 2.4 percent to $51.7 million.

The control board's top statistical expert said the robust performance received some help from the calendar.

Frank Streshley, senior research analyst for the board, said the strong performance statewide was boosted by an extra weekend day. The "biggest factor," he said was the Fourth of July falling on a Monday for a three-day weekend.

Other big draws were the Hopkins-Taylor fight at the MGM Grand and the championship rounds of the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

Streshley said there were concerns that Wynn Las Vegas would "cannibalize" the market. But he said the property "has grown the market," meaning it has drawn additional business to Southern Nevada.

The state collected $64.7 million in casino taxes, or 26 percent higher than the Economic Forum predicted for the month.

The board said casinos statewide won $38.8 million on craps tables, up 11.9 percent; roulette rose 18.8 percent to $27.3 million and the sports pools produced $4.4 million, up 2,334 percent with heavy wins on baseball.

Strip casinos reported $253.7 million in slot win, an increase of 10.8 percent; Strip table games yielded $221.3 million, up 38 percent.

The board said the 19 downtown Las Vegas casinos reported $38.1 million in slot machine winnings, up 1.9 percent but the clubs' table games fell 14.5 percent. It was the only place in the state where table games failed to show an increase.

North Las Vegas casinos won $22.2 million, up 27.1 percent. Table game winnings jumped a whopping 75.2 percent and slot win rose 20.5 percent in the suburb's 11 casinos.

The ten Laughlin clubs reported $51.3 million in winnings, up 5.6 percent. Table games rose 5.1 percent and slot machine revenue increased 5.5 percent.

The 33 casinos along the Boulder Strip produced $64.7 million in revenue, up 29.2 percent. That is the biggest percentage gain since January when the clubs reported a 34.7 percent increase. Slot machine win in July on the Boulder Strip reached $55.7 million, up 30.6 percent and table win rose 19 percent to $8.3 million.

The board said the seven casinos in Mesquite won $10.5 million, up 6.7 percent. Slot win rose 2.3 percent and table games jumped 46.6 percent.

The 66 casinos in the balance of Clark County reported $81.6 million in winnings, up 9.8 percent in the market that includes the Suncoast and Rampart casinos as well as clubs in Jean and Primm. Revenue from table games rose 16.8 percent and slot win was up 8.2 percent.