Casinos enjoy record month

September 18, 2007 3:45 AM


Despite fears of an economic slowdown and the spread of gambling around the world, casino gambling revenue in Nevada keeps growing.

Following a record fiscal 2007, Nevada casinos won $1.15 billion in July, a 10.3 percent increase over their revenue in July 2006, according to Nevada’s Gaming Control Board.

The Las Vegas Strip — the heart of Nevada’s casino industry — led the gains, reporting a gaming win of $607 million for July, up 14 percent from a year earlier.

Las Vegas Strip properties include casinos operated by Harrah’s, MGM Mirage, Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts.

Other major gambling companies with casinos in Nevada include Boyd Gaming and Station Casinos.

The state’s hold percentage, the amount won by casinos as a percentage of the total amount wagered, was 15.03 percent. A year earlier, the hold percentage was 13.38 percent, which is closer to normal, according to Nevada regulators.

"Some months, for the players, the luck swings their way. This month, it definitely swung on the casino side," said Frank Streshley, senior analyst for the Gaming Control Board.

Also in Southern Nevada, revenue at downtown Las Vegas casinos rose 9.6 percent to $53.7 million. On the Boulder Strip, a stretch of locals casinos in eastern Las Vegas, revenues rose 13.2 percent to $85.1 million.

Mesquite revenues were up 20.4 percent, North Las Vegas revenues were up 15.7 percent and Laughlin revenues were up 1.9 percent.

In Northern Nevada, win at casinos in Washoe County was down 7.7 percent, at $92.1 million.

Revenue from Reno casino floors fell 8.8 percent, and dropped 7.3 percent in North Lake Tahoe, but rose 1.2 percent in Sparks. In the rest of the county, revenue fell 15.1 percent.

Other casinos

Carson Valley-area casinos saw revenue drop 4.4 percent.

Casino revenue or "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.

Breaking down the total gaming win, slots accounted for $761 million, or 66.4 percent of the total, while table games raked in $368 million, about 32.1 percent of the total. Race and sports accounted for about $11.6 million, or slightly more than 1 percent of the total.

Continuing an ongoing trend, penny slot machines posted the biggest year-over-year increase — $151.4 million, a 37.6 percent increase from a year ago.

Multi-denomination slots accounted for about $315 million, an increase of 4.3 percent over last July.

In the pit, blackjack tables won $136.5 million from gamblers, a 13.9 percent increase, while craps raked in $47.9 million (up 16 percent) and roulette won $34.9 million (an increase of 24 percent).

The state’s poker rooms are showing signs that the poker craze has possibly peaked as their rake — the amount withheld from poker pots — declined 6.1 percent to $15.8 million in July.

The poker slide was the first in more than 48 months.