Casinos Have Record $930.3 Million Win In March

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Nevada casinos had a record month in March, winning $930.3 million from gamblers for an 11.5 percent gain over the same month a year earlier.

The state Gaming Control Board reported Tuesday that the March win, which eclipsed the previous monthly record of $900 million hit in January 2001, brought the January-March win total to $2.69 billion - up 10.4 percent compared with the same quarter last year.

The win pushed the total for the fiscal year to date to $7.52 billion lost by gamblers in slot machines at card and dice tables. That's up 4.4 percent over the same point in the prior fiscal year.

State revenues based on the fiscal-year total amount to $567 million. That's 5.8 percent above a May 2003 forecast by the state's Economic Forum.

"What makes these numbers so impressive is that they're not fueled by new casino properties," said the Control Board's Frank Streshley. "This is just fueled by the economy picking up."

"Clearly the state is benefiting from the resurgence and overall strength of Las Vegas," Gov. Kenny Guinn stated. While downtown Las Vegas casinos saw a 10.9 percent slump in win due mainly to two casino closures, all other major southern Nevada markets were up.

The Las Vegas Strip won half of all the money taken in during March by casinos around the state, $465.4 million for a 17.7 percent gain. That's a record monthly win for the Strip - and record wins also were posted in the Mesquite, Boulder City, North Las Vegas and outlying Clark County markets.

Guinn also said there were "signs of recovery in the other markets" in northern Nevada. The Reno-Sparks-North Tahoe area was up only 0.4 percent in March, but Streshley said breaking even is still good given new Northern California competition.

Clubs in the Reno-Sparks area have had only three monthly percentage increases since the opening of the Thunder Valley Indian gambling casino near Auburn, Calif., last summer.

Elsewhere in northern Nevada, the March win was $26.7 million, up 5 percent, for casinos on Lake Tahoe's south shore; $20.4 million, up 5.7 percent, for casinos in Elko County, bordering Utah and Idaho; and $8.9 million, up 1.6 percent, for clubs in the Minden-Carson City area.

The win is what was left in casino coffers from $12.6 billion bet by gamblers during March. "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 $930.3 million statewide win during March included $648.5 million from slot machines and $274 million from table games.

Games that produced the most revenue included blackjack at $106 million; craps at $42.5 million; and baccarat at $21.7 million. Poker games won $7.8 million.

Dollar slots won $119.1 million; quarter slots won $176.8 million; nickel slots won $122.1 million; and multidenomination slots won $138.5 million.