Nevada Casino Win Down 15.2 Percent

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CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Nevada casinos had a bad month in May -
their worst in at least 10 years - winning $969.9 million from gamblers for a 15.2 percent drop compared with the same month a year earlier, a state report showed Thursday.

The slump was the fifth consecutive monthly decline statewide. A market-by-market breakdown in the Gaming Control Board report showed a similar month-over-month decline for the Las Vegas Strip -
and the 11th consecutive monthly slump for the Reno-Sparks-North
Tahoe area.

"People are coming to Nevada but they're not spending," Control Board analyst Frank Streshley said. "What we've seen for the last five months is a big decline in spending, and this month we were hit especially hard."

Gov. Jim Gibbons, trying to deal with a state revenue shortfall expected to hit $1.2 billion by mid-2009, said taxes based on the casino win were "significantly worse" than amounts estimated only three weeks ago. But he said he's confident the casino industry will turn around.

The $969.9 million win was the amount left in casino coffers after gamblers wagered $13.8 billion during April, including $11.2 billion in slot machine bets and the balance on table games.

The May win brought the total win for the fiscal year to date to $11.55 billion. That's 1.9 percent below the total for the same period in the previous fiscal year.

Taxes on casinos are one of the largest revenue sources for state government. The other is the tax on sales, and that also has been down.

The GCB report shows declines during May for all major markets in the Las Vegas area. The Las Vegas Strip was down 16.4 percent and Laughlin was down 7.8 percent, while downtown Las Vegas was down 17.3 percent, North Las Vegas was down 29.4 percent, esquite
was down 3.2 percent and the Boulder Strip was down 30.2 percent.

In northern Nevada, clubs in Reno were down 7.5 percent while resorts in Elko County, in northeastern Nevada, were barely up, 0.05 percent. Resorts on Lake Tahoe's south shore were down 24.1 percent .

The win for the resorts brought the state's tax take from the clubs to $771.8 million for the fiscal year. That's down 5.9 percent from the $820.6 million collected in the previous fiscal year.

A breakdown showed that slots were down 15.1 percent in May while table games were down 15.7 percent compared with the same month last year.

Slots accounted for $647 million of the total win in May. That included $283.5 million won by multidenomination slots, down 11.2 percent. Penny slots were second with a win of $157.3 million, up 9.6 percent.

Live games, including poker, accounted for the balance of the May total. That included $99.2 million won on blackjack tables, down 26.2 percent; $37.9 million on craps, down 7.3 percent; and $26.9 million on roulette, down 27.7 percent.

The win on baccarat was $70.8 million, down 0.6 percent; and the win on mini-baccarat was $10.5 million, down 19.7 percent.

Sports books won $6.2 million in May, up 7.2 percent. Poker games won $13.3 million, down 5.7 percent.

"Win" is a gross figure, with no operating costs or other expenses deducted. It represents casino revenue only, not hotel, restaurant or bar revenues.

Major details:

  • STATEWIDE: $969.9 million, down 15.2 percent.
  • LAS VEGAS STRIP: $513.5 million, down 16.4 percent.
  • DOWNTOWN LAS VEGAS: $48.2 million, down 17.3 percent.
  • LAUGHLIN: $48.6 million, down 7.8 percent.
  • BOULDER STRIP: $58.4 million, down 30.2 percent.
  • MESQUITE: $13.5 million, down 3.2 percent.
  • RENO: $61.7 million, down 7.5 percent.
  • STATELINE: $24.4 million, down 24.1 percent.
  • ELKO COUNTY: $25.3 million, up 0.1 percent.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)