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Cy Ryan

Las Vegas Strip, Nevada Casinos Stay Hot

10 December 2004

CARSON CITY -- Fueled by big baccarat and other table-game action, casinos along the Las Vegas Strip won $491.9 million in October, a 20.3 percent increase from a year ago and the highest monthly percentage gain since November of 1999.

The state Gaming Control Board said today that Strip casinos reported a gain of $82.8 million in the money won from gamblers, compared to October 2003.

The state's 346 casinos won $924.9 million in October, a 12.9-percent jump and the third straight month with a double-digit increase. It was the biggest October haul ever. Frank Streshley, senior research analyst for the board, said the $924.9 million win is the second highest in history for a month, trailing only $930.3 million in March.

Gov. Kenny Guinn said in a statement: "October's gaming win coupled with recent sales tax reports show business trending stronger in Nevada. This latest data leaves me optimistic about the ongoing economic recovery."

Streshley said October was helped by two extra weekend days -- 10 this year -- compared to eight in the same month of a year ago.

The state collected $63 million in taxes, up 9.9 percent, a $5.7 million gain compared to a year ago. The board said the collections for this fiscal year so far are $287.8 million, or 4.1 percent higher than the forecast by the Economic Forum.

The 43 casinos on the Strip reported win from the games jumped 37.8 percent to $242.2 million. Baccarat players dropped $56.6 million, an increase of 162.1 percent. Gross win from blackjack games on the Strip totaled $61.2 million, down 8.8 percent; craps grew 11.5 percent to $30.2 million and the win on the sports pool shot up 1,296 percent to $19.2 million.

Slot win in the clubs on the Strip totaled $244.8 million, up 6.1 percent from a year ago.

Streshley said a baccarat tournament at the MGM drew a good crowd. A two-night concert with Jimmy Buffet at the MGM sold out, adding to the increased gaming business.

Streshley said 25,000 people attended the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas. The weak dollar was also a plus, drawing more international tourists who are big players in Las Vegas, he said.

Streshley said the big jump in revenue in sports betting should be viewed with caution. He said there were many unpaid winning tickets that were not cashed during the month and will probably be cashed in during November. But he said it was still a strong performance in the sports pool.

Downtown Las Vegas casinos were flat in October, winning $57.9 million, a gain of 0.2 percent.

Downtown casinos reported $13.8 million in win on the table games, down 0.06 percent. Slot win rose 0.25 percent with $43.6 million in gross revenue.

North Las Vegas casinos produced $19.2 million, up 5.4 percent. Slot win rose 1.2 percent and game revenue jumped 29.6 percent.

Laughlin casinos reported $50.2 million in gross revenue, up 6.9 percent from a year ago. Slot win in the Colorado River-side market rose 6.1 percent and table win was up 10.3 percent.

Clubs along the Boulder Strip won $57.6 million, up 7 percent. Sot win rose 2.6 percent and table revenue jumped 30.1 percent.

Casinos in Mesquite reported a win of $11.9 million, up 21.5 percent. Slot win jumped 16 percent and table winnings skyrocketed 58.1 percent.

The board said casinos in the balance of Clark County reported $78 million in gross win, up 13.2 percent. Slot win rose 7.4 percent and table win jumped 43.7 percent.

Washoe County casinos posted $92.2 million in win, up 2.8 percent. Slot win rose 2.8 percent and game revenue was up 1.8 percent.

The stormy weather in October hit hard at the casinos at South Lake Tahoe, closing the roads from California occasionally. The clubs reported winnings of $22.4 million, down 16.5 percent. Slot win was off 24.9 percent but the table revenue rose 4.1 percent.

Casinos in the Carson Valley posted their 18th straight month of increased gaming win. The board said they won $10.1 million, up 11.7 percent. Slot revenue jumped 9 percent and game win rose 33.9 percent.

Elko County casinos reported $21 million in win, up 15.1 percent. Slot win rose 14.5 percent and table win was up 15.7 percent.