Gamblers showed a strong affinity for slot machines during the month of September resulting in Nevada casinos showing an increase of 3.9% in gaming winnings from a year ago, according to figures released Monday by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
Total winnings amounted to $841.5 million, up from last year’s $809.9 million.
Noteworthy, said Frank Streshley, the board’s senior research analyst, was the statewide slot win that rose 8.5%. Results from table games were mixed with blackjack showing an increase of 7.2% while baccarat was up only 0.8%. However, craps was down 11.6% and sports betting fell a whopping 16.2%.
There was a note of concern in the comments made by Gov. Kenny Guinn following the gaming board tabulations.
"The gaming win posted this month is positive, but not as strong as we projected," he said.
"September’s increase of about 4 per cent in gaming win statewide over last year does not keep up with the growth of our state, which continues to lead the nation. I am concerned with the continuing decline in gaming revenue in the northern part of the state that is only partially offset by continued growth in Southern Nevada," he added.
Gaming officials had expected September to have stronger results, particularly since the Las Vegas Strip hosted the De La Hoya-Mosley boxing championship match that had been expected to attract more gamblers, especially table game players. Yet, table win on the Strip was down 2.8% to $178.9 million. Fortunately, they noted, slot revenue at these properties jumped by 17%.
Once again, strong increases were noted in both North Las Vegas, up 28.76%, and Boulder Strip, up 16.02%, while Downtown properties showed a decrease of 5.99% to $51.3 million, and Laughlin, down 0.43% to $44 million.
The increases for the properties on Boulder Highway were particularly impressive since they came on the heels of double digit increases a year ago. At that time, revenues were up 22.5% while this year’s numbers topped that by 16.5%.
The governor’s expressed concern over revenues in the northern region of the state followed the report that Washoe County as a whole was down 7.87%; South Lake Tahoe, down 4.14%, and Elko County, lower by 8.82%.
The decreased results in northern Nevada were attributed to the opening of the Indian owned, Station Casinos Inc. operated Thunder Valley Casino near Sacramento.
Fiscal year to date, Nevada casinos statewide have win $2.480 million compared to last year’s $2.453 or an increase of 1.09%. Of this amount, Strip casinos won $1.218 million compared to last year’s $1.210 million, an increase of just 0.61%.