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Cy Ryan

Nevada Casinos Post Record Results

11 August 2005

CARSON CITY, Nevada -- Nevada's casino industry won a record $11 billion from gamblers in the fiscal year that ended June 30, with turbocharged results from the Strip and the Las Vegas locals markets leading the way.

The fiscal 2005 performance bettered the previous record set the year before by a whopping 8.8 percent, almost double the 4.5 percent average annual increase reported over the past 10 fiscal years.

The state Gaming Control Board reported today that casinos on the Strip won 9.6 percent more money this past fiscal year compared to 2004. And the Strip now accounts for 50.7 percent of Nevada gambling, an all-time high.

And the locals markets reported even sweeter results, with casinos on the Boulder Strip, North Las Vegas and in the balance of Clark County all recording double-digit increases in gross win, computed before taxes and business expenses.

Gov. Kenny Guinn said, "Our state's major industry had a banner year, ending fiscal 2005 with a healthy 8.8 percent increase over last year and surpassing $11 billion in the gaming win total for the first time."

Frank Streshley, senior research analyst for the board, said the gaming industry was "firing on all cylinders," during the year. Not only did the Wynn Las Vegas resort open in April, but the Bellagio opened a new tower.

"Convention business was double-digit," Streshley said. It was helped by the opening of the convention center at Mandalay Bay.

Looking to the current fiscal year that ends in June 2006, Streshley said "the growth should continue." He said the South Coast project and the Red Rock Station property are slated to open in Las Vegas, and the results will include a full year of Wynn Las Vegas operations.

Statewide, Nevada's 178,000 casino slot machines raked in $7.4 billion last fiscal year, a 9.7 percent increase. The state's 5,776 table games won $3.5 billion, up 6.1 percent.

Gross win from blackjack fell by 3.6 percent statewide, to $1.2 billion; craps win rose 6.8 percent to $452.6 million; roulette was up 8.5 percent to $297.7 million; and baccarat jumped 30.1 percent to $550 million.

Streshley said gross win from poker jumped 48.3 percent to $119.6 million, surpassing results from horse racing, which totaled $76 million.

The board said the gross win from the 45 casinos on the Strip reached $5.5 billion, up from $5.1 billion in fiscal 2004. The Strip's 55,623 slot machines won $3 billion and its 2,632 table games won $2.5 billion.

Streshley said the Strip's 9.7 percent increase this year comes on top of a 7.7 percent gain a year ago. For the past 10 years, the Strip has grown an average of 4.8 percent.

Play on the blackjack tables on the Strip was down 4.1 percent; craps win rose 14 percent; roulette was up 8.8 percent; baccarat posted a 31.2 percent increase; keno revenues were down 14.7 percent; gross win from the sports pool rose 23.1 percent.

Downtown Las Vegas casinos won $659.8 million, a 0.9 percent gain. Downtown table game gross revenue fell 2.7 percent to $166.5 million but slot win inched up 2 percent to $486.2 million. Streshley noted that this was downtown's first year with an increased win in four years. The market has averaged a 0.1 percent decline over the past 10 fiscal years.

The board said North Las Vegas clubs reported revenue of $283.5 million, up 17 percent, as the 11-casino market reported the strongest percentage increase in the state. Slot machine revenue rose 16.7 percent and table games were up 16.7 percent.

Casinos along the Boulder Strip reported gross win of $854.6 million, a gain of 16.1 percent. Table game revenue from the Boulder Strip's 33 casinos rose 10.4 percent and slot machine win increased 16.7 percent for the fiscal year.

The board said casinos in the balance of Clark County market that includes the Suncoast, Primm and Jean, are now the second largest gaming area in the state, surpassing Washoe County. The balance of Clark County's 68 casinos reported a win of $1 billion, up 15.3 percent. Slot winnings jumped 15.6 percent and table games were up 12.5 percent.

Streshley said Laughlin clubs won $611.3 million, up 6.9 percent. Slot revenue jumped 7.4 percent and table win rose 2.3 percent.

Mesquite's seven clubs reported a gross win of $132.2 million, up 14.6 percent. Slot win rose 15.3 percent and table revenue increased 9.6 percent.

Washoe County casinos posted a gross win of $1 billion, up 0.5 percent. This was the first time in five years the casinos in the county have shown an increase in gross revenue.

South Lake Tahoe casinos won $330.1 million, down 3.5 percent; Carson Valley clubs reported $119.4 million, up 11.7 percent for the year; and Elko casinos had $247.3 million in gross win, up 10.6 percent.

Streshley said the state's casinos reported another record month in June, the last month of the fiscal year, when they won $954.2 million, an increase of 11.7 percent. He said June was the 11th straight month that set a record total for that month.

Casinos on the Strip posted $489.6 million, up 16.4 percent; downtown Las Vegas clubs' win dropped 2.9 percent to $51.4 million; North Las Vegas posted $26.8 million in win, up 17 percent; Laughlin was up 8.4 percent to $49 million; the Boulder Strip gained 7.1 percent to $77.3 million; Mesquite was up 40.3 percent to $11.9 million; and the balance of Clark County casinos pulled in $91.2 million in gross win, up 11.1 percent.