Nickel slots boost revenues

October 17, 2001 2:15 AM
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It used to be that some casino operators, especially those operating on the Las Vegas Strip, looked down on nickel slot machines.

Recent reports from the Nevada Gaming Control Board regarding the amount of money won by the gaming industry has shown a steady improvement in the total revenue from slot machines, thus causing many operators to rethink their positions.

For the month of August, for instance, total money won by the state’s casinos amounted to $824.5 million, an increase of 1.2% or about $10 million.

Slots revenue showed an increase of 4.3% but a breakdown revealed that the five-cent denomination machines shot up 25% to $126 million, an increase of $27.3 million over the same period a year ago.

In his review of the report, Frank Streshley, the Board’s senior analyst, found that the nickel slots revenue has been growing for the past two years every since the industry introduced multi-coin machines. These gaming machines take as many as 45 coins or $2.25 per play.

Streshley said the casinos on the Las Vegas Strip experienced a decline in table game revenue during August but saw those numbers moderated by a substantial increase in slot machine win. While table game revenue fell by 3.1%, slot win at Strip casinos increased by a strong 7.3%.

Another surprise was the continuing improvement in revenues at the Downtown Las Vegas casinos. The group won $56.5 million, an increase of 5.7% over last year’s number.