Nevada casinos rebound

Nov 13, 2007 6:39 AM

Nevada’s gaming industry posted a 7.5 percent increase in gaming win in September when compared to the same month last year, rebounding from a 4.4 percent slide in August.

Overall, Nevada casinos raked in $1.06 billion in September, the third consecutive month that gaming revenues topped $1 billion.

The casino win of $1.06 billion was the amount left in casino coffers after gamblers wagered $13.8 billion during the month. That included $11.4 billion bet in slot machine games and the rest on table games and sports.

"Win" is a gross figure, with no operating costs or other expenses deducted. It represents casino revenue only, not hotel, restaurant or bar revenues.

Leading the charge were the casinos in the southern part of the state.

Resorts on the Las Vegas Strip posted revenue gains of 6.9 percent or about $551.9 million, which accounts for half of all winnings statewide.

Casinos in downtown Las Vegas continue to show improvement as revenues were up 12.5 percent to $53.4 million in September, the third straight month of increasing revenues.

The Reno-Sparks area was the only major market around the state to show a slump in September, down 1.6 percent.

Factors such as tribal gaming in California and Oregon continue to hurt the gaming win of the casinos in Northern Nevada, said Bill Eadington, director of the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada, Reno.

"In the long term, it is much more challenging for Northern Nevada in general than it is for Southern Nevada because of the competition from California, the prolonged deferred maintenance that we have at an increasing number of casinos and the significant capital investment that is occurring in our competing market places," Eadington told the Reno-Gazette Journal. "So the long term trend should be consistent with what you are seeing."

A breakdown of the statewide win for September showed that slots accounted for about

$709.3 million of the total, or about 67 percent. Over the previous 12 months, slots accounted for only 65.5 percent of the total.

The stronger showing with slot revenue is the result of two factors: a slip in table game play and the huge amount won on penny slots.

Overall, table game revenue was flat at $336.5 million for a 1.4 percent increase over last September. That included $111.7 million won on blackjack tables, down 1.6 percent; $41.8 million on craps, up 2.9 percent; and $23.2 million on roulette, down 19 percent.

The win on baccarat was $45.9 million, down 23 percent; and the win on mini-baccarat was $10.3 million, down another 2 percent.

Meanwhile, slots posted a 10.7 percent increase, which included $291.5 million won by multi-denomination slots, up 9.7 percent, and $144.3 million won by penny slots, up 28.6 percent. Note that the "hold" percentage on penny slot was a whopping 10.2 percent, nearly double the statewide slot machine average of 6.2 percent.

Nevada’s poker rooms posted its third straight month of declining revenues, perhaps indicating the poker boom in the state has leveled off. Card rooms raked $12.5 million from players, a 0.6 percent slip from September 2006.

The state’s sports books won $44.9 million in September, double the amount for a year ago as the books cleaned up on football bets.

In the first full month of the football season, sports books won $36.3 million from football bettors, a 94.6 percent increase over last September. Equally important, the win represented a solid 16 percent hold on the amount handled.

Moreover, revenue from parlay cards increased a staggering 241 percent to $4.3 million, which reflected a solid 30.3 percent hold on amount handled.