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Strip gaming win tumbles in April

8 June 2009

Las Vegas Sun

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- For the 16th straight month, gambling win on the Las Vegas Strip tumbled, falling 15.7 percent in April with only penny and $100 slot machines showing a gain.

The state Gaming Control Board reports the 41 casinos on the Strip won $441.3 million, computed before expenses and taxes. And over the past 12 months, the gaming win has been down 15.1 percent.

North Las Vegas and Boulder Strip casinos in Clark County produced an increase in the state in the year-to-year comparison.

The board said casinos statewide won $859.4 million, down 14 percent from April 2008.

Frank Streshley, chief of tax and licensing for the board, said players were luckier this year on the table games. If the casinos had held the same amount as April 2008, they would have collected $66 million more.

On the Strip, which accounts for more than half of the state's gaming revenue, the penny slot machines won $56.5 million, an increase of 12.9 percent compared to the same month in 2008. And the $100 slots reported a win of $2 million, an increase of 29.8 percent.

Slot win overall decreased by 11.2 percent on the Strip. The gross win in the 21 games declined 28.5 percent; Craps was off 19 percent and the sports pool win fell by 31.2 percent.

Wagering at Strip casinos on Baccarat rose 30.7 percent to $530.6 million. But the clubs won only $53.1 million, down 10 percent. The players did "much better", Streshley said.

The board reported that gaming win in North Las Vegas casinos rose 5.3 percent to $23.1 million, the third straight month of an increase. That's due in part to the Aliante Station casino that was not open in April 2008.

For the 10th consecutive month, gaming win in downtown Las Vegas fell, down 14 percent to $45.3 million. Slot play dropped 12.3 percent and games revenue fell 19.6 percent.

Laughlin casinos reported a 17.7 percent decline to $43.9 million. Mesquite clubs reported a win of $10.7 million, down 16.3 percent.

And casinos in the balance of Clark County reported $93.9 million in gaming win, a drop of 14.9 percent and the seventh straight month of a decline.

Washoe County casinos won $65.5 million but 16 percent down from the same month of a year ago. It was the 22nd month of a decline.

The board reported South Lake Tahoe clubs won $15.7 million, off 35.4 percent. Streshley said the casinos at Tahoe face new competition from Red Hawk club on the Indian reservation near Sacramento that has 2,000 slots.

Elko County casinos won $21.9 million, down 10.6 percent and Carson Valley clubs had $8.1 million in revenue, a drop of 5.3 percent.

The casinos paid $51.8 million in taxes, down 5.9 percent from April 2008.

Streshley said May will apparently show an improvement because there were major boxing matches and concerts.

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