Geoff Dornan

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June 13, 2012
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April gaming win up 6.2 percent statewide

Nevada casinos raked in $49.6 million more in April than in the same month of 2011 - a 6.2 percent increase.

The increase was primarily due to strengthening play in Southern Nevada's major tourist markets. Total gaming revenue for the state was $855.7 million, putting the statewide total up 2.5 percent for the 10 months of this fiscal year - $8.98 billion.

With one less Friday and one less Saturday in the month than last year, local markets - including Carson City - didn't fare as well.

The Carson Valley area, which includes valley portions of Douglas County, suffered a 3.1 percent decrease in total gaming revenue, or "win," reporting just $8.1 million for the month. That, too, is in large part because of the missing weekend. Game win fell nearly 17 percent, but slots - which make up the vast majority of play in Carson City - were down just over 2 percent.

For the 10 months of the fiscal year, that puts Carson down 1.47 percent.

Washoe County, which depends heavily on weekend visitors from California, was the hardest-hit. The county was off 15.5 percent to $54.2 million.

While a tiny amount of money by comparison with the whole county, North Shore casinos at Crystal Bay saw a 15.8 percent decrease from the previous April, collecting just $1.59 million in winnings.

Gaming Control Board analyst Mike Lawton said North Shore, like Reno and the surrounding area, depends heavily on weekend play and that there was simply one less weekend in the month this year, so the amount of play was down dramatically.

"It was really the low volume," he said.

For the state as a whole, Lawton said, six of the last seven months have been up. He said slot win was up 9.8 percent statewide, accounting for $52.2 million of the gain. While baccarat was up nearly 15 percent to $66.1 million, that was offset by black jack, which he said "had a bad month," falling 7.6 percent to $77.8 million.

The Strip was up 7.45 percent to $459.4 million in win. Strong numbers in downtown Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and the Boulder Strip helped push Clark to 8.89 percent above a year ago overall.

Lawton said that strong slot play in the south is a good sign that regular players are returning to Nevada.

South Shore casinos at Lake Tahoe were also down because of the loss of a weekend, but by just 4.43 percent. Win there came in at $13.7 million against a difficult comparison a year ago, when the lake reported a 15 percent increase. The culprit was game play - again, black jack - which saw a 43-percent decline in win.

With South Shore up 3.7 percent over fiscal 2011 after 10 months, the area is looking at the possibility of its first year-over-year growth in almost a decade.

Like the Carson Valley Area, Churchill County had a terrible month in game and table play, which was down 28.7 percent from a year earlier. But game and table accounted for just $39,000 of the county's nearly $1.77 million total April win. Slot win was off only two-tenths of a percent, so Churchill finished the month down just 1.23 percent.

Churchill is actually up 4.2 percent over the past year, reporting a total of $21.1 million in win by its 11 non-restricted gaming locations.

Breakout Box

Area April Win Percentage Change

Statewide $855.7 million 6.16%

Carson Valley $8.09 million -3.08%

South Shore $13.7 million -4.43%

North Shore $1.59 million -15.82%

Washoe County $54.19 million -15.46%

Reno $38.26 million -18.69%

Clark County $743.67 million 8.89%

The Strip $459.38 million 7.45%

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Jun 13, 2012 04:07AM Published Jun 13, 2012 04:07AM Copyright 2012 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.