October gaming win sets all-time record
Nevada casinos set an all-time monthly record for total gaming win in October – $1.165 billion.
That is a 9.6 percent increase over October 2006 and $20 million more than the previous monthly record set in July.
But Gaming Control Board Analyst Frank Streshley said because a significant amount of that total came from high end Baccarat play, it won’t show up as revenue to the state for several months.
“Baccarat play is credit play and it’s going to be some months before the casinos collect those markers,” he said.
As a result, actual tax collections for the fiscal year so far are artificially low – 1.6 percent below what the Economic Forum forecast. With that caveat, collections for the first five months of the fiscal year are $329 million, $5.3 million below projections.
But when those uncollected markers are counted, Streshley said gaming is up 5.7 percent so far this fiscal year – right in line with the forum’s 5.4 percent projection.
Altogether, game and table win totaled $373.3 million – 21.5 percent more than a year ago. Of that, $108.2 million was from Baccarat, a 338 percent increase over last October.
Players bet a total of $766 million on Baccarat, the highest amount since Chinese New Year in February.
But markets that rely primarily on slot players and don’t draw high rollers from Asia and the Middle East didn’t fare so well.
“It’s been the trend since the end of summer that predominantly slot markets have been soft,” Streshley said. “When you talk to the properties, they say customer counts are good but their spending isn’t as high as a year ago.”
That includes the Carson Valley area, which includes valley portions of Douglas County as well as the capital city. Carson’s numbers were down 6 percent in October to $9.6 million.
South Shore casinos suffered a similar drop – 6.4 percent to $27.3 million – despite the fact those casinos do draw some high-end play.
North Shore casinos were hard hit with a 22 percent drop from a year ago to $2.6 million in total win.
Washoe County casinos were down 8 percent from a year ago to $85.5 million. Four of five reporting areas in Washoe were down and the exception, Sparks, was up by less than 1 percent.
Most markets in Clark County were either flat or down slightly. The exception is the Las Vegas Strip, which caters to nearly all the high rollers in the state.
There, win increased just under 20 percent to $637.8 million. The Strip was helped by Clark County’s “Balance of County” win which increased 8 percent because of new properties that have opened there in the past year.
Because of the Strip’s numbers, Clark was up 12.5 percent overall which, in turn, generated the 9.6 percent statewide gain.
Elko County, which is enjoying the wealth generated by the booming mining industry, was the only other bright spot in the state, recording a 4.5 percent increase to $25.9 million for October.