Baccarat back – for now

Baccarat back – for now

July 03, 2018 3:00 AM
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Last week’s release of May’s gaming results showed another billion-dollar month for Nevada’s gaming revenue. It was led by the usual big three categories – Slots with growth of 3.56% to $670,214,000, followed by Baccarat with growth of 19.75% to $120,821,000, trailed by Blackjack with a decline of -7.30% to $102,699,000.

There was no surprise in slot revenue, the economy is expanding, consumer confidence is way up, tax reform has put more money into the consumers’ hands so increases in slot revenue made total sense. Baccarat, on the other hand, over the years has been all over the place, up and down like a rollercoaster; and while good for the state the surprising increase seems to be due to continued scrutiny of high-end players by the Chinese government in Macau.

Over the past few years there seems to be a high correlation of spikes and dips in Nevada’s high-end Baccarat action such that when the government of China increases attention, some play shifts to Las Vegas; and when they back off, the play seems to shift back to Macau and other regional gaming areas.

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Not surprisingly, when one segment of the table game market increases there is often a decrease in another area, so with the increase in Baccarat it made sense there would be some slippage in Blackjack. When the marketing teams focus and use their premium suites and penthouses to pursue one category of customer it does have an impact on the ability to provide those same inducements to other high-end gaming customers.

Regardless of the configuration of the gaming win, it was a great month for Nevada’s gaming revenue and a great way to enter the traditionally slower summer months for gaming revenue.