Casino numbers down statewide |

Casino numbers down statewide

CARSON CITY – High energy bills and gasoline costs are keeping many Californians from driving to Nevada to gamble, a report Monday on casinos’ winnings indicates.

The state Gaming Control Board said the April win total for the casinos was $774.3 million, down 1.5 percent statewide compared with the same month last year. Stateline was down 10.1 percent.

That included a 4.3 percent slump for Las Vegas Strip resorts – despite strong convention business during the month.

The Control Board’s Frank Streshley said that most people attending conventions in Las Vegas choose to fly – so a decline in the overall casino win clearly points to less vehicle traffic, or ”leisure travel,” from California.

Streshley also said April 2000 had 10 weekend days while this April had nine, another big factor in explaining the slump.

”We’re starting to see some weakness in leisure travel activity,” Streshley said, adding such gamblers ”are concerned about fuel costs and the California energy crisis.”

The $774.3 million win was the amount left behind by gamblers who bet a total of $11.6 billion on table games and in slot machines around the state.

The state’s percentage fees based on the April casino win totaled $38.6 million and brought the year-to-date fee total to $508.8 million.

”Win” is a gross figure, with no operating costs or other expenses deducted. And it’s casino revenue only – separate from hotel, restaurant or bar revenues generated by the resorts.

A breakdown shows Las Vegas Strip resorts won $371.8 million, down 4.3 percent compared with the April 2000 win.

The Reno-Sparks-North Tahoe area in northern Nevada had $90.7 million in April winnings, down 8.2 percent.

The $774.3 million statewide win included $539.9 million from slot machines, up 5.5 percent; and $228.8 million from table games, down 14.8 percent.

A breakdown of games that produced the most revenue in April shows casinos won $82.9 million on blackjack; $40.4 million on craps; and $34.4 million from baccarat.

Dollar slots won $124.1 million; quarter slots won $202.8 million; and nickel slots won $145.8 million.

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