May casino wins up statewide despite downtown Vegas slump
CARSON CITY – Craps players at Stateline had a good month in May, driving down casino winnings for the month.
South Shore casinos won $25.7 million, down 6.4 percent compared to last year, according to a report released Tuesday by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
The win is what’s left in casino coffers after payouts to gamblers are subtracted from money that’s bet on tables or in slots. It’s a gross figure, with no operating costs or other expenses deducted. And it’s casino revenue only – separate from any hotel, restaurant or bar revenues generated by clubs.
In Nevada as a whole, casinos reported a healthy statewide increase despite a downtown Las Vegas slump caused by increasing Strip competition.
Board spokesman Russ Guindon said Tuesday the $758.6 million casino win in May for the state represents a 9.9 percent jump compared with the same month last year.
With one month to go, the fiscal 1998-’99 total is now $7.25 billion in winnings for the clubs, up 7.6 percent compared with the same 11-month period a year earlier.
The GCB report also shows the state came very close to its projected $497 million in percentage fees for the fiscal year. For tax purposes, the year ends with fees collected in June based on May’s win.
The actual tax total was $496.5 million, up 8.1 percent for the year. The earlier projection had been made in late April by the state Economic Forum, and lawmakers relied on that in planning the state budget for the current and next fiscal years.
”We missed the estimate by only a tenth of a percent,” said Guindon. ”The good thing is that it was the base for the next year, so we don’t have to make up any ground.”
Casino-related revenues along with sales taxes account for three-quarters of all revenues needed to run state government.
A breakdown of the casino win shows Las Vegas Strip resorts collected $371.5 million in May, up 16.6 percent. The Venetian megaresort opened on the Strip during the month, following the Mandalay Bay opening in March and the Bellagio opening in October.
Downtown Las Vegas clubs took in $56.8 million in May, down 3.3 percent. That’s the fifth negative month out of the past six for the downtown casinos.
”The three new properties on the Strip are causing the downtown to go through an adjustment,” Guindon said.
Elsewhere in the state, Reno casinos were up 5.6 percent but clubs in neighboring Sparks were down 0.6 percent – mainly because of big wins by gamblers on blackjack games.
North Lake Tahoe resorts took in $3.7 million for an increase of 36.8 percent.
Carson Valley casino winnings increased 6.6 percent with $7.5 million.
Boken down by games, the statewide win included $256.1 million from table games, up 13.7 percent; and $496.5 million from slots, up 5.1 percent.
Among table games, craps won $38.1 million for the clubs, down 6.3 percent in May compared with May 1998. Blackjack was up 21.2 percent, winning $100 million, and baccarat was up 3.5 percent, winning $33.6 million.
Quarter slots won $217.5 million, up 0.4 percent; dollar slots won $129.5 million, up 4.4 percent; and nickel slots won $93.1 million, up 35.5 percent.
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