South Shore casinos see 31% increase in gaming-win
March gaming win increased 7.6 percent to a total of $982.2 million, buoyed by baccarat and blackjack gains primarily on the Las Vegas Strip.
Baccarat win increased 39.9 percent to $101.8 million. But the blackjack tables did even better, raking in a total of $105.9 million statewide, a 6 percent increase over March of 2013.
The same pattern produced an overall 31.6 percent increase from the South Shore casinos at Stateline. Blackjack recorded a 74 percent increase to $3.3 million while the so-called “other games” category — the small market euphemism for baccarat — went from a negative $691,000 a year ago to a plus $190,000 this year — a $1.6 million swing.
In addition, penny slots and multi-denominational machines combined for $7.7 million in win, both categories registering double digit increases.
But Gaming Control Board Analyst Mike Lawton said the increase was inflated by the fact that South Shore casinos were down 10.9 percent last year. However, this increase ends a streak of five consecutive decreases at South Shore.
By contrast, North Shore casinos at Tahoe suffered a 14.8 percent decrease in total win because March of 2013 was more than 15 percent up. Lawton said both the percentage of bets casinos there kept and the total volume of bets were down in part because of the lack of snow to draw skiers this year.
He said this is North Shore’s third consecutive decline because of the weak winter.
Taxes collected on the statewide revenue amounted to $84 million, up 7.4 percent.
The “win” is what was left in casino coffers after gamblers wagered a collective $12.1 billion in March — $2.7 billion on card and table games; $9.4 billion in slot machines.
Internet poker brought in $926,000 in revenue in March, an increase of 12.2 percent over February. Nevada has licensed three online poker websites that are available to players only within the state.
Geoff Dornan of the Nevada Appeal and The Associated Press contributed to this report.