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Cy Ryan

Nevada's Casinos Report Record Results

11 February 2005

CARSON CITY, Nevada -- Nevada casinos fired on all cylinders in 2004, winning a record $10.6 billion from gamblers after posting little or no gain for four years.

The record haul for the state's top industry was a 9.7 percent jump from the $9.6 billion by Nevada's casinos in 2003, and more than double the average yearly increase over the past 10 years.

The state Gaming Control Board released its monthly report today showing gross revenue from the 260 casinos in Nevada reached $852.5 million in December, an 11.1 percent gain from the same month of 2003.

The December performance was led by casinos along the Las Vegas Strip that reported $437.6 million in win, up 15.5 percent.

It was the ninth month in 2004 that statewide casinos recorded a double-digit increase over the same month of the previous year. And it was the fourth straight month of increases of 10 percent or more.

Gov. Kenny Guinn said the strong results in December "cap a record calendar year for gaming win."

"Looking forward to 2005, trends continue to look strong with the opening of several new resorts and the creation of over 10,000 new jobs in the gaming industry," he said.

Win -- gross revenue -- is computed before taxes and business expenses, and is the total money won from gamblers at nonrestricted-license casinos. The numbers do not include money won at restricted-license slot operations at convenience stores, bars and grocery stores.

Frank Streshley, senior research analyst for the board, said game and table win increased 10 percent in 2004, following a 0.8 percent decrease in 2003. Slot win statewide rose 9.6 percent last year after increase 3.3 percent in 2003.

Streshley said that over a 10-year period, total win has increased an average of 4.3 percent with slot win averaging a 5.2 percent gain and table win increasing an average of 2.7 percent.

So far this fiscal year, the state has collected $383.4 million in taxes or 6.5 percent above the same period of fiscal 2004. Collections are 5.6 percent more than predicted by the Economic Forum that estimates the state tax receipts.

For calendar 2004, the board said the 341 casinos statewide won $3.5 billion on table games, an increase of 10 percent. Gross revenue from slot machines rose 9.6 percent to $7.1 million for the year.

Statewide, the casinos won $1.2 billion and 6.9 percent more on blackjack; 4.9 percent more on craps; 8.3 percent more on roulette; and 35 percent more on baccarat.

The board said that statewide in December table games produced $306.1 million, a jump of 18.2 percent. Gross revenue from the 21 games inched up 0.2 percent; craps reported a decline of 1 percent; roulette jumped 6.6 percent; baccarat skyrocketed by 52.6 percent; and the sports pool was up 309 percent.

Slot win statewide reached $536.5 million, an increase of 6.9 percent from December 2003.

Las Vegas Strip casinos posted double-digit increases in gross revenue in seven of the 12 months last year. For the year the clubs won $5.3 billion, a 12 percent gain over 2003.

In 2004, Strip casinos won $2.5 billion from table games, an increase of 12 percent.

Gross win on the Strip's slot machines for the year rose 12.1 percent to $2.9 billion.

In December the board said Strip clubs won $62.7 million on blackjack, up 2.9 percent; craps revenue fell 7.5 percent to $20.1 million; roulette gained 1.2 percent to $18.2 million; baccarat jumped 53.9 percent to $54.7 million; mini baccarat rose 61.1 percent to $21.8 million; and the sports pool produced $16.2 million in gross win, up 7,512 percent.

Strip casinos reported $206.6 million in slot win, up 7.9 percent for December.

The 18 downtown Las Vegas casinos reported gross revenue of $663.3 million, up only 0.8 percent for the year. Slot revenue for downtown clubs produced $478.3 million, down 1 percent for the year while table tames produced $184.9 million, up 6 percent.

In December, downtown clubs won $48.4 million, down 0.3 percent.

Casinos in Laughlin last year reported gross revenue of $594.8 million, up 7.7 percent for the year. Slot win rose 8 percent to $508.9 million and table revenue increased 5.9 percent to $85.9 million.

Boulder Strip casinos Boulder in 2004 had winnings of $791.7 million, up 14.6 percent. Slot win increased 14.8 percent to $684.5 million and table win rose 12.9 percent to $107.2 million.

North Las Vegas clubs reported a 9 percent increase in win last year to $257.7 million. Slot win was up 8.4 percent and table revenue rose 13.8 percent.

Casinos in the balance of Clark County reported $948.1 million, up 15.4 percent from the previous year. Slot win jumped 15.8 percent to $800.7 million and table revenue grew 13.4 percent to $147.4 million.

Streshley said 2004 represented the largest percentage growth in statewide win since 1999 when the industry recorded an 11.9 percent increase.

Why the big jump?

There was a record number of visitors to Las Vegas. Both leisure and convention business was strong. And the international market of players is rebounding, he said.

Every geographic market in the state posted an annual increase in win -- the first time in the last five years, he said.