Nevada Casinos Win Record $12.7 Billion in Fiscal 2007

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Despite a slowing economy, Nevada casinos closed fiscal 2007 with a record $12.74 billion win from gamblers and a 4.6 percent increase over the previous year, according to a state report released Friday.

The win, reported by the state Gaming Control Board, was the amount left at the casinos by gamblers who wagered a record $170 billion during the fiscal year.

"It's an all-time record fiscal-year gaming win, but it's the smallest growth rate in the last four years," GCB analyst Frank Streshley said, adding that the latest increase is well under the previous year's 10.7 percent growth and slightly below the average 5.4 percent growth over the past 10 years.

Resorts on the Las Vegas Strip, which won just over half of last fiscal year's statewide total, a record $6.75 billion, had a 5.9 percent increase in win. Streshley said that's good given a slowing state and national economy and a major resort closing - the Stardust - during the year.

Clubs in downtown Las Vegas were down 3.8 percent, the largest
decline around the state. Over the past six years, the downtown clubs have had only one year of increasing win - and that was only by about 1 percent in fiscal 2005.

Elsewhere in southern Nevada, Mesquite resorts were up 8.3 percent, North Las Vegas clubs were down 2 percent, Boulder Strip casinos were barely up 0.1 percent and casinos in Laughlin were up 0.4 percent.

Casinos in the Reno-Sparks-North Tahoe area in northern Nevada were down 0.3 percent, taking in $1.07 billion from gamblers during
the fiscal year. Streshley noted the Reno area accounted for just over 8 percent of the statewide win, down from nearly 13 percent 10 years ago.

In other major markets, casinos on Lake Tahoe's south shore won $332.6 million for a 3.2 percent decrease; and Elko County clubs in northeastern Nevada, bordering Idaho and Utah, won $289 million for
a 9.9 percent increase.

The Carson City-Carson Valley win of $122.6 million was down 1.7 percent. That's the first decline for the area in 14 years, Streshley said.

The "win" is what's left in casino coffers after payouts to gamblers are subtracted from money that's bet on tables, in slots and on sports events. It's 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 casinos.

A breakdown of the $12.74 billion total win shows that slots accounted for a record $8.34 billion, or two-thirds of the total. Multidenomination slots accounted for $3.5 billion of all the money won by slots, followed by penny slots at $1.5 billion and quarter slots at $1.2 billion.

Table or "live" games accounted for $4.22 billion of the total, led by blackjack with $1.4 billion. Craps produced $471.8 million and baccarat accounted for $900.4 million of the live game win, and the win on sports bets was $175.7 million. Poker, listed separately from table games, added another $170 million.

The fiscal year ended with a $959.8 million June win for the clubs, up 5.7 percent over the same month a year earlier.

A breakdown for June showed that the Las Vegas Strip was up 13.3
percent and downtown Las Vegas was down 1.9 percent. The
Reno-Sparks-North Tahoe area was up 4.4 percent.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)