Gaming win sets record |

Gaming win sets record

CARSON CITY ” Despite the nation’s economic woes, Nevada casinos set an all-time record in 2007, winning $12.85 billion.

But the economy took its toll, because that total is the lowest rate of growth since 2002 ” just 1.8 percent above 2006.

And casinos in Stateline at Lake Tahoe suffered their fourth decline in total win in five years with a 2.1 percent lower win total, $326.8 million. Only in 2004 did Stateline see an increase and then only by eight-tenths of a percent. Stateline casinos finished the year with a 3 percent drop in December.

North Lake Tahoe also suffered in 2007, reporting total win of $42.3 million, a decline of six-tenths of a percent. December was down nearly 4 percent at Crystal Bay.

The area was down about a percent in 2006 but had solid increases in 2004 when the Crystal Bay Club reopened.

The Carson Valley Area, which includes valley portions of Douglas County as well as the capital, also saw declines. Carson casinos suffered their second annual decline in total winnings in a row as total win dropped 4 percent from 2006 to $119.3 million.

December numbers for Carson only made the annual total worse, as win dropped a whopping 17.64 percent to just $8.6 million.

That and the one-third percent decline in 2004 follow what had been 12 straight years of growth by the area’s casinos.

Gaming Control Board analyst Frank Streshley said area casino operators tell him the number of players wasn’t off by much, but those players were being more conservative and betting less than in previous years.

He said the 1.8 percent increase in statewide win is far less than the 8.3 percent growth in 2006 and well below the 5.2 percent average annual growth over the past decade.

But he said it’s a testament to the ability of operators in Nevada to market their properties that they could show any growth in the current economy.

“These guys have the best marketing people in the world,” he said.

The bulk of the state was carried into the black by the Las Vegas Strip, which had a record total win of $6.28 billion in 2007. That is a 2.1 percent increase on top of the 11 percent increase recorded for 2006.

Downtown Las Vegas reported an increase of four-tenths of a percent, its first increase in more than three years, to $632.9 million.

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