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Cy Ryan

Strip gaming win lowest in five years

12 January 2009

CARSON CITY, Nevada -- Winnings at Strip casinos dropped to a five-year low in November as the resorts recorded their second straight month of double-digit declines.

The state Gaming Control Board reported today the gross win at the 41 Strip casinos was $437.6 million, off 16.2 percent from a year ago.

Board Spokesman Frank Streshley said this November was compared to a "soft" November in 2007, when the gross win, before expenses and taxes, fell 19.2 percent.

This was the 11th straight month of lower gaming wins on the Strip and the lowest since November 2004.

Statewide, casinos won $836.7 million, down 14.8 percent from a year ago. Streshley said this is the first time in several years that every gaming market in the state experienced a decline in gross win.

For this fiscal year, the state has collected $330 million in gaming taxes, down 15.3 percent when compared to fiscal year 2007.

For Washoe County the casinos reported a 15.2 percent decline, the 17th straight month of lower revenues.

All the games and slot machines on the Strip , except sports betting, recorded lower winnings. Casinos won 98.2 percent more on sports betting due to the football season.

Streshley said there were higher expectations for the Strip because of the two sold-out Madonna concerts at MGM Grand and "premium guests" were brought in. But the gaming boost didn't materialize.

He said win at the 21 games on the Strip fell 18.1 percent; craps was off 22 percent; roulette fell 16.4 percent; baccarat win dropped 29.2 percent and slots fell by 15.8 percent.

Downtown Las Vegas reported a win of $48 million, off 1.6 percent. Slot winnings fell 8.2 percent but table games rose 20.2 percent. That was due to an increase in football betting.

Casinos in North Las Vegas had gross win of $19.3 million, down 1.58 percent. Slot win dropped 6.7 percent but table games were up 34.7 percent. Streshley said the opening of the Aliante Stations hotel and casino in North Las Vegas increased the number of table games and that was the reason for the increase in that category.

Boulder Strip casinos won $54.9 million, a drop of 16.4 percent from a year ago. Slot winnings fell 18.9 percent and slots and table games were off 4.6 percent.

Casinos in the balance of Clark County had gross win of $89.4 million, down 18.6 percent, the second straight month of an 18 percent decline. Slot winnings dropped 19.9 percent and table win was down 22.2 percent.

Washoe County clubs reported $68.2 million in winnings, down 15.2 percent. Slot machine win fell 15.3 percent and table win was off 15.2 percent.