South Tahoe gaming win up by 13 percent
Tribune Capitol Bureau
CARSON CITY, Nev. – Hot gamblers trashed what could otherwise been an encouraging June for Nevada’s resorts.
The 6.65 percent decrease compared to June 2009 left licensees with a total $763.8 million in winnings. Gaming Control board Analyst Mike Lawton said that is the lowest win recorded by the state since April 2003 and a 20.4 percent drop compared to June 2007 – Nevada gaming’s peak win period before the recession hit.
But it wasn’t for lack of customers.
“The play was there,” Lawton said. “The hold percentage was just not what we’re used to seeing. Hopefully it’s an anomaly.”
The bulk of the damage was in Baccarat, where the amount wagered was up $154.8 million to $521.8 million. But the hold or amount the casino won was just 3.5 percent compared to 13 percent a year ago.
He said the other major table games were also affected. Craps win was down to 8.6 percent compared to 11 percent last year and 21 was down more than a percent to 10.5 percent.
He said if Baccarat win had been normal, the total win for the month would have been flat, not down.
At the South Shore, the story was just the opposite. Casinos reported a 13.5 percent increase over June 2009 – a total of $19.77 million. Table games there turned in a 22.45 percent win for the month.
“Tahoe ran really hot and the Strip ran really cold,” Lawton said.
North Shore casinos at Tahoe and Reno area casinos continued to suffer in June, basically from a lack of players. At North Shore, slot win was down 7.2 percent with table game win down 25 percent. The amounts wagered were also down. Overall win fell 10.6 percent.
“Basically, everything you want to be up they were down in,” he said.
In contrast, Reno gamers say they were seeing good head counts in restaurants and the hotels. Those folks, however, weren’t gambling, which was reflected in less total money wagered.
“They’re not playing as much as they used to,” he said.
The result: A 9.2 percent drop countywide to $63.5 million.
In the county, Sparks was hit hardest, reporting a 13.2 percent decline.
For Washoe County, that is the third month of declines after the area’s first two positive months in more than two years. In addition to the recession, Washoe County, like South Tahoe, has been dramatically impacted by the Indian casinos opened over the past few years in California.
As a result of the low win, Lawton said gaming numbers are behind the January projections used to balance the state budget. He said win needs to beat those projections by 1.2 percent for the rest of fiscal 2011 to make up the difference.
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