Nevada casinos win $908.2 million in May |

Nevada casinos win $908.2 million in May

Brendan Riley

CARSON CITY – Nevada casinos had a record May, winning $908.2 million from gamblers for a 12.7 percent increase over the same month a year earlier, the state Gaming Control Board reported Friday. Stateline casinos reported at 18.3 percent increase.

The May win brought the total for the fiscal year to date to $9.25 billion lost by gamblers in slot machines and at card and dice tables. That’s up 5.7 percent compared with the same period in the previous fiscal year.

State revenues based on the fiscal-year total amount to $677.5 million. That’s 6 percent above a May 2003 forecast by the state’s Economic Forum – or $38.1 million more than what was projected for state coffers.

“We’ve seen a turnaround in the economy and a resurgence of travel back to Las Vegas, especially the Strip,” the Control Board’s Frank Streshley said in discussing the win.

The May win was the fourth consecutive month of record winnings by casinos, and the fourth double-digit gain in a row, Streshley added.

Gov. Kenny Guinn said he was glad to see the resurgence in Nevada “considering the proliferation of gaming nationwide, especially next door in California.”

Guinn also said that with the $38.1 million increase in the state’s casino revenues over last year’s projections, combined with other revenues, the state’s general fund is now about $100 million ahead of projections.

Only one major Nevada market was down in May – Reno with a 5 percent slump compared with the same month a year earlier.

Streshley said Reno was hurt by high gasoline prices, adding that more than three-quarters of the gamblers who come to the northern Nevada city get there by car.

However, neighboring Sparks managed to post a 1.8 percent increase; and casinos at South Shore were up 18.3 percent while North Shore resorts were up 25.3 percent. They also rely heavily on auto traffic.

The Las Vegas Strip was up 16.1 percent; downtown Las Vegas was up 7.5 percent; the Boulder Strip was up 34.2 percent; and Laughlin was up 1.5 percent.

Elsewhere in Nevada, casinos in the Carson City-Gardnerville area were up 10.8 percent; and clubs in Elko County were up 3.7 percent.

“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.

The $908.2 million statewide win during May included $592.5 million from slot machines and $307 million from table games.

Games that produced the most revenue included blackjack at $117.6 million; craps at $42.6 million; and baccarat at $25.3 million. Poker games won $8.8 million.

Dollar slots won $93.4 million; quarter slots won $155 million; nickel slots won $106.4 million; and multidenomination slots won $141 million.

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