Gaming Strategy
Featured Stories
Legal News Financial News Casino Opening and Remodeling News Gaming Industry Executives Search News Subscribe
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Related Links
Search Our Archive of Gaming Articles 

Bad Luck Reduces Las Vegas Strip Take

9 October 2003

The Las Vegas Sun

by Cy Ryan

CARSON CITY, Nevada -- Casinos along the Las Vegas Strip suffered their worst month in more than one year with winnings down 10.4 percent in August, the state reported today.

The state Gaming Control Board reported that Strip clubs won $401.5 million, or $46.7 million less than a year ago. It was the biggest percentage drop in gross revenue since a 13.8 percent decline in June 2002.

It was the third month in the last five in which the win, computed before taxes and business expenses, has fallen. Investors didn't seem bothered by the news as key gaming stocks rose this morning along with the broader stock market. The stocks of Park Place Entertainment Corp.,

Harrah's Entertainment Inc., MGM MIRAGE, Mandalay Resort Group and Station Casinos Inc. all traded up this morning.

Frank Streshley, senior research analyst for the board, said the big drop on the Strip was due to a decline in win at baccarat and 21. "Excluding baccarat, the decline on the Strip would have been down only 1.5 percent," he said.

The August performance on the Strip is compared to a strong August 2002 when gross revenue was up 9 percent, he said.

The board said that statewide, casinos won $813.6 million, a 3 percent decrease from August 2002.

Gov. Kenny Guinn said, "The decrease in gaming win demonstrates that the gaming industry continues to struggle, but we are slowly recovering."

The board reported it collected $54.9 million in taxes, up 24.8 percent. The gaming tax rate increased from 6.25 percent to 6.75 percent of gross revenue starting in August. And there was an increase in fees paid by restricted slot machine operators.

Guinn said the state will need to analyze the tax collections over time to determine any trends.

Statewide, baccarat fell by 55.2 percent; craps was off 21.6 percent; 21 win rose 10.5 percent; roulette was up 19.7 percent; sports pool rose 10.4 percent and slot win increased 1.7 percent.

The bright spot in Nevada was in North Las Vegas, where casinos registered $16.5 million in win, up 21.5 percent. It was the third straight month of double digit increases for clubs in North

Las Vegas. But it was posted against weak performances of a year ago when revenues declined and when the Cannery casino had not yet opened. Slot win jumped 17.7 percent and game revenue increased 47.6 percent.

Strip casinos reported baccarat win down 55.8 percent and craps off 33.7 percent. Streshley said the players won more in both these games than the average. Casinos in the Strip normally "hold" 13.5 percent of what is wagered on craps but in August, they kept only 10.3 percent. The normal baccarat "hold" is 21 percent, but the Strip clubs retained only 17.6 percent in August, the board said.

The board said the Strip clubs reported an increase of 18 percent in gross revenue from 21; roulette was up 22.8 percent and the sports pool win rose 10.3 percent. But slot revenue was off 3.4 percent.

"We were disappointed with the slot numbers," said Streshley.

The last two days of August fell on the Labor Day weekend and "we assumed we would see stronger growth," he said.

Downtown Las Vegas clubs posted win of $53.7 million, up 2.74 percent, their third straight month of increased gross revenue. Win on the tables grew 13.7 percent, but slot revenue was down 0.9 percent.

The board said casinos in Laughlin registered $43.2 million in win, up 0.5 percent from August 2002. Slot win was flat but game revenue rose 2.1 percent.

Casinos in the Boulder Strip market rebounded from a poor month in July to report win of $47.2 million, a 13 percent increase. In July, the gross revenue was down 7.2 percent. Slot win in August jumped 17.2 percent but the game play was off 5.1 percent.

Mesquite clubs reported $8.4 million, up 9.6 percent. Slot win rose 11.1 percent and game revenue was up 0.2 percent.

Clubs in the balance of Clark County posted $64.5 million in win, up 11.1 percent. It was the second double-digit increase in two of the last three months. Slot win increased 9.4 percent and game revenue increased 20.5 percent

For the third straight month and the sixth in the last seven months, casinos in Washoe County experienced a decrease in gross revenue, falling to $99.6 million, a drop of 1.7 percent. Slot win increased 0.1 percent but table revenue fell 8 percent.

After four straight months of decline, South Lake Tahoe casinos registered an 8.9 percent jump with $37 million in gross revenue.

Elko County clubs reported $20.7 million in gross win, up 4.2 percent. The board said Carson Valley casinos won $9.8 million, up 9.3 percent, the fourth straight month of increased percentages.

< Gaming News