Nevada Casino Win Up 'Paltry' 1.8 Percent For Fiscal Year

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A January win of $882.1 million for Nevada casinos pushed their fiscal-year total to $5.71 billion - but Gov. Kenny Guinn said Thursday the total amounts to a "paltry" 1.8 percent gain from a year ago.

The governor also said state revenues based on the fiscal-year total amount to $410.2 million, and that's about $2 million below earlier projections.

"The good news is that sales tax activity is ahead of projections, but does not completely offset gaming activity," Guinn stated as the Gaming Control Board's casino win report was released.

The board's Frank Streshley said the $882.1 win in January was up 4.4 percent compared with the same month in 2003. But he said there were wide variances around the state, with many areas - including Reno-Sparks and downtown Las Vegas - reporting slumps.

Streshley said the overall 4.4 percent growth in the January win stemmed mainly from a strong gain for megaresorts on the Las Vegas Strip. The Strip saw a lot of gambling action from people celebrating the Chinese New Year, which fell in January this year instead of February a year earlier, he added.

But the Reno-Sparks area suffered because of bad weather and road closures, along with the continuing impact of the new tribal casino near Auburn, Calif., and closures of three small casinos in Reno and Sparks, he added.

A breakdown shows the Las Vegas Strip win of $482.5 million was up 12.3 percent. But elsewhere in southern Nevada, downtown Las Vegas clubs won $54.3 million, down 10.4 percent; casinos in North Las Vegas won $18.1 million, down 14.5 percent; and Boulder Strip resorts won $56.6 million, down 3.3 percent.

In the Reno-Sparks-North Tahoe area, the January win of $73.6 million was down 9.3 percent. But casinos on Tahoe's south shore won $25.4 million for a 4.8 percent gain.

Elsewhere in the north, Elko County winnings of $16.8 million were down 7.6 percent; and the Minden-Carson City win of $8.3 million was up 6 percent.

The win is what was left in casino coffers from $12.4 billion bet by gamblers during January. "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 $882.1 million statewide win included $531.7 million from slot machines and $343.3 million from table games.

Games that produced the most revenue included blackjack at $121 million; craps at $37.3 million; and baccarat at $68.2 million. Sports books won $9.8 million, and poker games won $7 million.

Dollar slots won $104.6 million; quarter slots won $135.8 million; and nickel slots won $100.3 million.