Nevada revenue slumps in November

January 15, 2008 5:47 AM
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In one of the worst months of 2007, gaming revenue in Nevada casinos was $981.1 million in November, a 14 percent decline from the $1.14 billion generated in November 2006, according to statistics released by the state’s Gaming Control Board.

Experts said a lack of big special events and fewer high-end gamblers contributed to the decline, the largest single monthly revenue slide in nearly five years.

The state Gaming Control Board reported that the best evidence of fewer high-rollers was the baccarat win for the casinos in November — down nearly 61 percent from $117.2 million a year ago to $47.8 million.

Also, "there was absolutely nothing on the calendar in November" in the way of major special events, Control Board analyst Frank Streshley said. That contrasted with November 2006, when gamblers were drawn to Las Vegas by Rolling Stones and Barbra Streisand concerts and a Floyd Mayweather-Carlos Baldomir fight.

The $981.1 million win was the amount left in casino coffers after gamblers wagered $13.5 billion during November, including $11.1 billion in slot machine bets and the balance on table games, sports and poker.

All major markets in the Las Vegas area had lower wins compared with November 2006. That included the Las Vegas Strip, with a 19.1 percent slump, and downtown casinos, which suffered a 9.3 percent decline.

"Locals" casinos in Southern Nevada had even steeper revenue declines. Gambling halls on the Boulder Strip saw a 20.9 percent slide, while casinos in North Las Vegas experienced a 28.7 percent decline.

In northern Nevada, clubs in Reno were up less than 1 percent while resorts on Lake Tahoe’s south shore were down 3 percent. The only substantial month-over-month gain was in Elko County, in northeastern Nevada, where gambling halls were up 13.1 percent.

A breakdown showed that slots were down 7.7 percent in November while table games were down 25.2 percent compared with the same month last year.

The only bright spots were penny slots, which continued its wave of popularity with a 10.1 percent increase in gaming win; the craps tables, which raked in 4.7 percent more than last year; and poker rooms, whose 1.4 percent revenue increase reversed a five-month trend of declining revenues.

Sports books won $17.5 million in November, down 51 percent from a year ago as football bettors continued to beat the point spreads.

Winning bets on football accounted for only $12.2 million, down 54 percent from a year ago, when bookies won $26.5 million from football bettors.

Football bettors parlayed their success to parlay cards, which generated only $4.1 million for the sports books, down 36.5 percent from a year ago.

The "hold" percentage on parlay cards was also down, from 44.4 percent a year ago to 29 percent in November.

Nevada’s race books — without a big event like October’s Breeders Cup — saw its pari-mutuel win slip to $6.6 million, less than half the amount generated in October, and about 17 percent less than in November 2006.