Nevada revenues continue slide in October

Dec 10, 2009 7:20 PM
by David Stratton |

Nevada gaming revenues showed no signs of recovery in October as casinos won $800.3 million, about 11.5 percent less than in October 2008, according to the state’s Gaming Control Board (GCB).

October marked the 22nd straight month of declining casino revenues for Nevada casinos, according to the GCB’s Revenue Report released today.

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The drop-off is particularly disturbing since October’s revenues were compared to a month that had the worst drop in recent history – casino revenues in October 2008 were down a whopping 22.3 percent, the worst during the current economic downturn.

For the year to date, Nevada casinos have won about $8.65 billion, a 12.4 percent drop compared to the $9.87 billion they won in the first 10 months of 2008.

At this pace, Nevada casinos are projected to win a total of $10.16 billion for 2009, the lowest annual total in five years.

The drop-off was felt equally in virtually all areas of the casino. Table game revenue was down across the board, except for baccarat, which posted a 61 percent increase in October to about $65 million.

The same scenario played out with slot machines: every denomination posted revenue declines, except penny slots, which had a modest 0.8 percent increase in winnings to about $151 million.

The state’s sports books saw an 8 percent slip in revenues, but it could have been a lot worse if it weren’t for football.

In October, books raked in $7.7 million from football bettors, an 88 percent increase from last year. Basketball helped a little with $2.4 million, an 11 percent year-over-year increase.

Surprisingly, parlay cards hurt the sports books in October: they generated only $1.6 million, a 69 percent slide from a year ago and, worse yet, had a hold percentage of only 10.6 percent (parlay cards ordinarily hold 30 percent to 40 percent and higher).

The state’s poker rooms held their own, as their rake – the amount withheld from every pot – slipped to about $10.9 million, just 7 percent off from a year ago.

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: David Stratton