It could be a case of seeing a glass has half-full of half-empty.
For the month of June, Nevada’s gaming licensees saw revenue rise 3.83% over last year, a number that has had some sources suggesting that the state is seeing the effects of an economic slowdown or the impact of ever-growing Indian casinos in California.
But in the eyes of Frank Streshley of the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the person responsible for putting the numbers together, the June comparison was going to be tough, regardless.
Because in fiscal 2000, there were four new megaresorts brought on line in Las Vegas. The result was an increase of 11.3% in gaming win, the strongest growth of gaming revenues in a decade.
And, even though the increase for the entire state was kept at 3.83% in June, Clark County did better with a 6.78% rise while the Las Vegas Strip reported an increase of 11.55%. True, the big gains were primarily driven by table games with baccarat winnings jumping more than 80% and blackjack, the most popular table game in Nevada casinos, increasing by 23%.
These numbers obviously bode well at the premier properties where high-rollers, many who favor baccarat, are entertained. It also might indicate a decline at the smaller properties, especially since slot growth was limited to an increase of 1%.
Continuing a trend that began more than six months ago, Downtown casinos showed an increase of 3.1% for the reporting period while North Las Vegas properties declined 14.75% and the Boulder Strip casinos were down 10.27%.
The news was not particularly good for the northern properties. Reno was down 4.99%, North Lake Tahoe, decreased 5.78% and South Lake Tahoe fell 14.45%.
Laughlin also took a hit, dropping 5.49% but Mesquite surprised with an increase of 13.34%.