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Casino win on Strip declines 8th straight month

10 October 2008

Las Vegas Sun

CARSON CITY, Nevada -- For the eighth consecutive month, winnings at Strip casinos declined.

The state Gaming Control Board reported today that the win at the 41 casinos on the Strip totaled $494 million, down 7.43 percent from a year ago. Statewide, casinos posted an 8.1 percent decline.

On the Strip, table games posted a 1.8 percent increase in winnings, but slots fell 15.8 percent.

Penny slot maintained their strength. While every other denomination of slots recorded lower winnings than the same month a year ago, penny slots posted a 9.6 percent gain on the Strip. For the last 12 months the one-cent machines have 25.8 percent higher winnings.

The 8,884 1-cent machines on the Strip posted $45,590 in gross win, the highest amount among slot machines except for multi-domination machines, which took in $95,733.

Frank Streshley, senior research specialist for the control board said the penny slots are "the most popular" and the fastest growing. There are about 700 more one-cent machines on the Strip this year compared to last year. And there are about 500 fewer nickel and quarter machines.

Streshley said the tourists are still visiting Las Vegas, but they are not spending as much. Because of the weak dollar, Asian players are visiting Las Vegas as evidenced by the 4.3 percent increased win on the baccarat tables.

Mesquite casinos were the only ones in Clark County to show an increase in gross win, up 2.1 percent from August last year. The casinos won $10.8 million. Slot win rose by 3.8 percent but table games were down 11.4 percent.

Gross win is computed before business expenses and taxes.

Downtown Las Vegas casinos reported $46.6 million in winnings a decline of 9.5 percent. Slot win fell 12.6 percent and table games were off 0.4 percent.

Casinos in North Las Vegas posted $18.1 million in winnings, a drop of 17.8 percent. Slot win was off 16.9 percent and table games fell 27.7 percent.

Laughlin casinos were off 10 percent with $44.2 million in gross win for the month. Slot win dropped 10 percent and table win fell 10.1 percent.

Boulder Strip casinos reported $52.1 million in winnings, down 22.4 percent. Streshley said slot win dropped 19.5 percent and table revenue plummeted 39.7 percent.

Casinos in the balance of Clark County won $96.1 million, down 10.1 percent. Slot win was off 12.9 percent but table games grew 3.8 percent.

Statewide, the 329 gaming locations posted winnings of $934.1 million. And tax collections from the casinos fell 6.1 percent to $54.5 million for the year. For this fiscal year so far taxes paid the state have dropped 9.4 percent.

The $934.1 million was the lowest winnings month since June 2006, Streshley said.

The 37,040 penny slots in the state won $146,977 for a 7 percent increase over August 2007. It was the only denomination slot machines to post an increase. For example, winnings in the nickel slots fell by 30.8 percent and the 25-cent slots dropped by 29.4 percent.

The positive signs were in craps with winnings increased by 59.4 percent and the sports pools inched up 0.7 percent. Winnings in the 21 games dropped 13.1 percent; roulette was off 4.8 percent; and keno fell 23 percent.

Winnings in Washoe County casinos fell to $93.4 million, down 2.3 percent. It was the 14th straight month of a decline for the county.

South Lake Tahoe casinos reported $30.8 million in winnings, up 1.3 percent and the second straight month of a gain. Slot winnings declined 5.6 percent but game play rose 24.6 percent

Carson Valley casinos posted $10.5 million in win, down 8.7 percent. Slot win was off 8.4 percent and game plays fell 12.7 percent.

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