Casinos rake $1 billion

Sep 19, 2006 2:46 AM

Nevada casinos in July set a record for gaming revenue and reversed a June decrease that broke a string of 24 straight months of increases.

Gaming win eclipsed $1 billion — an 8.38 percent gain over last July — with most of the big gains occurring in Southern Nevada.

Gaming Control Board analyst Frank Streshley said the numbers were better than expected since July 2005 was bolstered by the opening of Wynn Las Vegas and July 2006 had one fewer weekend days.

Generating the most revenue were the casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, which enjoyed a 10 percent increase over last July to $531 million.

Off-Strip casinos in North Las Vegas, on the Boulder Strip and in the balance of Clark County also posted double-digit increases in gaming win.

Downtown Las Vegas slumped about 5 percent from last July’s win to about $50 million.

The Carson Valley area, which includes portions of Douglas County as well as the capital, reported a 7,8 percent dip in win -totals to $10.77 million. A more than 10 percent decline in slot win was partly offset by a 20.1 percent growth in game and table win.

Washoe County, western Nevada and the northeast, however, were all down from a year ago.

In Washoe, total win was $99.7 million, down 1.4 percent. Most of that decline was in Reno, where win fell 2 percent to $71.2 million. The only market that increased in Washoe was North Lake Tahoe, which reported $5.4 million in win, a gain of 3.6 percent.

The credit there goes to a 10.2 percent increase in slot win, which was brought back down by a 12.3 percent reduction in game and table win.

Statewide, slot machines generated nearly $700 million in revenue, a solid 10 percent over last July’s numbers.

Table games added another $324 million (a 3.75 percent increase) with poker contributing $16.9 million (a 24.39 percent increase).

Sports betting in Nevada generated $4.2 million, a 5.4 percent slide from July 2005. Baseball, which should be at its peak in July, generated $6 million, about 2.3 percent less than last year.

Contributing to the lesser sports gain was $1.6 million in basketball bets that were paid in July but generated in June.

Pari-mutuel horse betting took another downward turn: revenue was $8.8 million, nearly a 12 percent slide from a year ago.

The reduction was the fourth straight for race books and the second straight month of double-digit declines.

Last year pari-mutuel betting enjoyed a 10 percent increase in betting for the calendar year and this year started off with increases in January, February and March (double digit gains in January and March).

Next week, GamingToday will take an in-depth look at pari-mutuel race betting and where the industry is headed in Nevada.