A lackluster December, despite the opening of the upscale CityCenter resort in Las Vegas, contributed to a 10.4 percent drop-off in gaming revenues for Nevada casinos in 2009.
Last year, casinos raked in $10.392 billion, more than $1 billion less than the $11.599 billion they won in 2008, according to the Gaming Control Board’s December revenue report. The 2008 total was nearly 10 percent below 2007’s $12.849 billion.
Last year’s total revenues were the lowest since 2003, when the state’s casinos won $9.563 billion.
Virtually all areas of the casino reported less revenue last year. Table game win was down 7.6 percent to $3.424 billion, even though baccarat win was up 26.6 percent to $978 million.
Slot machine revenue slipped 11.8 percent last year to $6.823 billion, with only penny slots posting a year-over-year increase of 2.4 percent to $1.825 billion.
The state’s sports books won about $17.4 million from bettors, a solid 55 percent increase from 2008, while race books saw revenues decline 11.5 percent to $4.1 million.
Nevada’s 104 poker rooms generated $145.6 million, about 6.5 percent less than in 2008.
For the month of December, casinos in Nevada won $859.3 million, about 3.2 percent less than in December 2008, even though MGM MIRAGE (MGM) opened its high-end CityCenter and ARIA hotel and casino on December 16.
The CityCenter opening did help to pad gaming revenues on the Las Vegas Strip, which reported a December win of $502.1 million, up 6 percent from a year ago.
The rest of Southern Nevada didn’t fare as well as gaming revenues were down 12.4 percent in downtown Las Vegas, 24.1 percent in North Las Vegas and 19.8 on the Boulder Strip.
In Northern Nevada, casinos in Washoe County (Reno and Sparks area) generated $53.4 million in December, down 10.7 percent from a year ago.
Statewide, table game win was once again bolstered by intense baccarat play. Baccarat revenue jumped 102.6 percent to $158.3 million in December, which contributed to a 12 percent increase in all table games.
Slot revenues in December were down 11.2 percent to $509.3 million.
Sports books, buoyed by heavy football action, won $17.4 million from bettors, of which $11.6 million came from football bets.
Question? Comment? E-mail me at: David Stratton