Geoff Dornan
gdornan@nevadaappeal.com

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February 10, 2013
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NV casinos saw large gaming win increase in December

CARSON CITY, Nev. - Nevada casinos finished 2012 with a double-digit increase in win, pushing the calendar year's total win to $10.86 billion.

That $10.86 billion is 1.5 percent more than 2011's total win and the second consecutive increase. But it's still more than 15 percent below the industry's peak of $12.8 billion in 2007.

December 2012 saw a 10.24 percent increase statewide driven by a 13.5 percent increase on the Strip.

The "win" is what was left in casino coffers after bettors wagered on table games, sports betting and slot machines.

Western Nevada markets, however, didn't share in the 2012 recovery. Reno was down 3 percent from the previous year, Washoe County and Carson City 2.5 percent and Sparks 2 percent.

The bright spot in this area was South Shore at Lake Tahoe, which finished the year 1.6 percent higher than 2011's total at $212.9 million in winnings.

December was the icing on the cake for those casinos - 57 percent above the previous December at $20.9 million. All of that $7.6 million increase came from table games and the bulk of it - $4.5 million - in the "other games" category. At Tahoe, "other games" means Baccarat.

North Lake Tahoe saw some improvement in 2012, although just by two-tenths of a percent. But that is significantly better than the 7.3 percent decline Incline Village/Crystal Bay casinos suffered in 2011.

The number would have been better, except the North Shore was off nearly 19 percent in December, bringing in just $1.8 million. Total win for the year was $25.9 million.

Statewide table games showed a 2.9 percent gain over the year, bringing in just over $4 billion. Like Tahoe, the reason was Baccarat, which posted an 8.9 percent increase to $1.37 billion. Without Baccarat, games win would have increased just a half percent.

That one game accounted for 12.7 percent of total gaming win. Just three years ago, Baccarat made up 3.8 percent of the total.

Sports book winnings increased nearly 21 percent to $170 million for the year.

The biggest generator is still slot win, which accounted for $6.78 billion in 2012. But that is just 62 percent of total win - the lowest that percentage has been since 1995.

Gaming Control Board analyst Mike Lawton said the recovery on the Las Vegas Strip - up 2.3 percent to $6.2 billion in 2012 - is beginning to spill over into other Southern Nevada markets. Local markets there were up 1.4 percent.

He said experts expect that trend to continue this year.

In December, the Carson Valley Area, which includes valley portions of Douglas County as well as the capital, was off 4.5 percent, finishing the year at just over $98.1 million. In December, Carson Valley casinos reported $7.86 million in win.

Washoe County experienced its sixth straight year of declining win. Total win of $727 million was the lowest since 1987 for Washoe at the area continued to suffer from competition by Indian casinos between Reno and the Bay Area. In December, Washoe was down 4.4 percent to $56.9 million.

Churchill County was up 10.57 percent in December with 10 nonrestricted gaming locations reporting $1.85 million in winnings. For the year, Churchill had $21.1 million in win, a 2.33 percent improvement over 2011. Much of the improvement came from table games - up 8.3 percent - even though games made up just $682,000 of the total win.

Casinos statewide won about $943 million during the month, and the state collected more than $39 million in taxes based on that amount.

The state's share represents a more than 23.5 percent increase from the previous year.

For the fiscal year that began July 1, tax collections are up $1.8 million, or 0.5 percent, over projections made in November by the Economic Forum, an independent panel that forecasts state tax revenues.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Feb 10, 2013 05:08PM Published Feb 10, 2013 05:05PM Copyright 2013 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.