Nevada casino winnings up; first time in 23 months
LAS VEGAS – Nevada casinos’ gambling revenue in November rose for the first time in nearly two years, as casinos won nearly $873.2 million from bettors, state regulators said Tuesday.
The 4 percent rise in revenue from November 2008 was the first year-over-year increase after 22 months of declines, the Nevada Gaming Control Board said in a report.
Revenues this fiscal year, from July through November, were down 7.9 percent from a year earlier.
State revenues collected in December based on the winnings topped $57 million, up 28.3 percent from $44.4 million in December 2008. Taxes paid on casino winnings account for about 30 percent of the state general fund.
The control board said the state collected $313.2 million in the first six months of the fiscal year, down 5.1 percent compared with July-December 2008.
More than half of the November 2009 revenues came from the Las Vegas Strip, where casinos won $473.8 million, up 8.3 percent compared with November 2008. The Strip is down 5.5 percent for the fiscal year through November, gambling regulators said.
In Northern Nevada, revenues in Washoe County were down 4.2 percent, while revenues slid more sharply in South Lake Tahoe, Elko County and Carson Valley.
Analyst Robert LaFleur of Susquehanna Financial Group said the improvement came against a relatively easy comparison, as Strip casinos won 15.8 percent less in November 2008 than in November 2007.
But LaFleur said high-end casinos were helped by greater volumes of baccarat play.
“The strong baccarat numbers benefit properties such as Wynn, Venetian, Bellagio, along with to a lesser extent some of the other (MGM Mirage) properties like the MGM Grand and Mirage,” LaFleur said.
He said November’s results also benefited from the Nov. 14 Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto boxing match at the MGM Grand.
Revenue at Downtown Las Vegas casinos was down 1.3 percent, while North Las Vegas and the Boulder Strip saw double-digit increases.
Clark County, which includes Las Vegas and is Nevada’s largest county, was the only county in the state with a year-over-year increase in monthly revenue.