Lake Tahoe gaming markets up in March despite statewide dip |

Lake Tahoe gaming markets up in March despite statewide dip

Geoff Dornan

Area Win Percentage Change

Statewide $1.022 billion -0.12%

Carson Valley $9.17 million -0.6%

South Shore $15.9 million 9.16%

North Shore $2.08 million 2.22%

Washoe County $69.8 million -0.9%

Reno $49.96 million -1.9%

Clark County $882.8 million -0.61%

The Strip $551.9 million -3.83%

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Tahoe’s two gaming markets were up in March, despite a slight statewide dip.

Casinos on Tahoe’s South Shore won $15.9 million, an increase of 9.2% or $1.3 million compared to the previous March.

The driver behind that increase was the “Other Games” category. In smaller markets “Other Games” means Baccarat. Other Games increased 40% from a year ago or $1.9 million. The key factor was the percentage of wagers the casinos held, which rose from 4.1% last year to 29.7% this March.

North Shore casinos at Crystal Bay won $2.1 million in March, a 2.2% or $45,000 increase. Slot win increased 8.6% or $119,000.

Statewide, gaming win decreased by a little more than a tenth of a percent. But it still totaled a billion dollars.

The culprit was Baccarat, which was down 54.3% compared to a year ago, bringing in just $53.6 million.

Gaming Control Board analyst Mike Lawton said it was a tough comparison since Baccarat was up more than 100% in March 2018.

If Baccarat was excluded from the numbers, said Lawton, gaming win would’ve been up 6.9% or $62.4 million for the month.

Among the high points for the month was Roulette, which brought in $41.7 million. That’s an increase of more than 43% and the second highest win total ever for Roulette. The highest ever for that game was $50.8 million in October 2012.

The other high point was sports books. Bettors wagered a total of $596.8 million in March, an all-time record driven by the $495.1 million bet on basketball.

But apparently, the bettors were knowledgeable since total win by sports books was down 4.8% compared to last year — $32.5 million.

Lawton pointed out this is the first time since March 2004 that sports book volume was higher than Baccarat volume.

Carson Valley, which includes valley portions of Douglas as well as the capital, was down six-tenths of a percent or $55,000 in March to $9.2 million. The area was facing a tough comparison since total win was up 10.7% a year ago. The driver was slot win which fell 1.7% or $149,000 compared to an 11.4% increase last year. The amount wagered was up 6.6% but hold fell a half percent to 5.5%.

Washoe County was down nine-tenths of a percent to $69.9 million, a reduction of $631,000.

Churchill County’s 10 non-restricted locations reported a 1.1% increase to just more than $2 million for the month. Of that, $1.9 million came from slot play with just $88,000 from table games and sports betting. For the first three months of this calendar year, Churchill is down eight-tenths of a percent compared to a year ago.

Statewide, slot win totaled $675.3 million, up 5% or $32.2 million. That’s seven consecutive monthly increases for slot win. The total wagered was $10.2 billion, the highest since May 2009.

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