Casinos Below Expectations With 3.9 Percent September Gain

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Nevada casinos won $841.5 million from gamblers in September for a 3.9 percent gain compared with the same month a year earlier - but the increase was less than expected.

A breakdown of the win showed that the Las Vegas Strip, North Las Vegas and the Boulder Strip had good months - but downtown Las Vegas, the Reno-Sparks area and Tahoe casinos all were down, the state Gaming Control Board said Monday.

The statewide win is positive, "but not as strong as we projected," said Gov. Kenny Guinn, adding that he's concerned about "the continuing decline in gaming revenue in the northern part of the state that is only partially offset by continued growth in southern Nevada."

State taxes based on the win were down 0.7 percent in September, although for the fiscal year to date they're 5.2 percent above forecast amounts. The tax collection total is $216.7 million.

The GCB's Frank Streshley said that while the Las Vegas Strip win of $421.1 million was up 7.7 percent, that was due to slot machines. Table game numbers were "really disappointing," he said, adding that resorts didn't get the action they had expected from boxing fans in Las Vegas for the Oscar De La Hoya-Shane Mosley fight.

"The town was really busy, but it just didn't pan out on the gaming side," Streshley said.

Elsewhere in southern Nevada, downtown Las Vegas clubs won $51.4 million for a 6 percent slump. Clubs in North Las Vegas, on the other hand, won $21.1 million for a nearly 29 percent gain; and Boulder Strip resorts won $66.3 million, up 16 percent.

In the Reno-Sparks and Tahoe areas, Streshley said the competition from the new Thunder Valley tribal casino near Auburn, Calif., continued to hurt casinos.

The Reno-Sparks-North Tahoe win of $86.1 million in September was down 7.9 percent and marked the fourth straight monthly decline for clubs in that area.

Casinos on Tahoe's south shore won $32.1 million for a 4.1 percent slump. That gives the south shore resorts five slumping months out of the past six.

Elsewhere in the north, Elko County winnings of $18.6 million were down 8.8 percent; and the Minden-Carson City win of $9.2 million was up 2.3 percent.

The win is what was left in casino coffers from $12 billion bet by gamblers during September. "Win" is a gross figure, with no operating costs or other expenses deducted. And it's casino revenue only - separate from hotel, restaurant or bar revenues generated by the resorts.

The $841.4 million statewide win included $585.3 million from slot machines, up 8.5 percent; and $250.8 million from table games, down 5.7 percent.

Games that produced the most revenue included blackjack at $86.4 million; craps at $33.9 million; and baccarat at $29.8 million. Sports books won $23.4 million.

Dollar slots won $121.3 million; quarter slots won $167.7 million; and nickel slots won $120.2 million.