Nevada Casinos Show 3.4 Percent Win Gain In March

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Nevada casinos won nearly $835 million from gamblers in March for a 3.4 percent gain - a figure that would have been higher had tourists not been so jittery about the Iraq war.

While the gain marked the ninth straight month of increases for the clubs, a state Gaming Control Board report shows the win was flat on the Las Vegas Strip which depends heavily on visitors rather than locals.

But markets that get a lot of local traffic had relatively good months, ranging from downtown Las Vegas at about six percent to
North Las Vegas with a 34 percent gain compared with the same month
a year earlier.

The GCB's Frank Streshley said the start of a tourism slowdown began following the March 17th start of the war against Iraq. He says that impact will be more obvious in April.

Governor Guinn says the state's percentage fees based on the win are now down nearly 25 (m) million dollars so far this fiscal year - and could be down more than 30 (m) million dollars when the year closes June 30th.

Major details:
-STATEWIDE: $834.7 million win, up 3.4 percent.
-LAS VEGAS STRIP: $395.7 million, up 0.1 percent.
-DOWNTOWN LAS VEGAS: $63.6 million, up 6.3 percent.
-NORTH LAS VEGAS: $22.1 million, up 34 percent.
-LAUGHLIN: $52.9 million, down 7.7 percent.
-BOULDER STRIP: $64.4 million, up 22.9 percent.
-RENO: $62.8 million, down 0.05 percent.
-SPARKS: $13.3 million, down 2.7 percent.
-NORTH TAHOE: $2.5 million, down 9.8 percent.
-STATELINE: $25.4 million, up 1.7 percent.
-ELKO COUNTY: $19.3 million, down 11.7 percent.
-CARSON-GARDNERVILLE-MINDEN: $8.7 million, up 8.2 percent.
-CHURCHILL: $1.6 million, up 11.9 percent.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)