Driven by a $74.8 million increase in baccarat take, statewide gaming win increased by 7 percent in March to $914.78 million.
Gaming Control Board Analyst Mike Lawton said that without baccarat, almost entirely on the Las Vegas Strip, total win would have increased just one-third of 1 percent compared with March 2012.
The “win” is what was left in casino coffers after gamblers wagered $12.1 billion. A breakdown indicates $9.5 billion was plunked into slot and video machines, while $2.6 billion was bet on card and table games.
The Carson Valley area, which includes valley portions of Douglas County, didn’t share in the spoils. Win was down 2 percent to $8.28 million — the capital area’s sixth consecutive monthly decline with just two positive months in the past 12.
The culprit in Carson was table games, which were off $209,000 compared with the previous March. That more than offset the half-percent gain in slot win.
The statewide gain translates to a $60.2 million increase in total win. Of that increase, baccarat accounted for $48.6 million.
As a result, the Las Vegas Strip reported a 13.1 percent increase to $507.6 million.
Lawton said it was a very easy comparison for the casinos since March 2012 was down 10.9 percent from March 2011.
Lake Tahoe’s South Shore casinos experienced a 10.95 percent decrease in total win to $11.3 million. The cause of that drop was the “other games” category, which, at Stateline, means baccarat. The Tahoe casinos actually lost money on baccarat in March, a sharp contrast to a year earlier, when they kept 25.6 percent. Without that lost, South Shore would have been up 6 percent for the month.
Washoe County casinos were the bright spot in the north, with an overall increase of 9.5 percent to $67.2 million. North Shore casinos at Crystal Bay reported a 15.4 percent or $283,000 increase to $2.12 million. Blackjack accounted for $236,000 of that total as unlucky players allowed the casinos to keep 17.4 percent of everything bet on the tables.
Reno had a 10.8 percent increase to $48.8 million, fed by the opening month of the U.S. Bowling Congress men’s tourney. The bowlers apparently didn’t get to Sparks, 3 miles east; the win there was up just two-thirds of 1 percent, to $10.9 million.
Lawton said April could be even better for Reno since the women’s USBC tournament opened.
Churchill County also was down in March, falling 7.29 percent to $1.77 million. All but $53,000 of that total comes from slot machine play at Churchill’s 10 non-restricted gaming locations.
For the nine months of this fiscal year, total win is up 2.8 percent to $8.36 billion statewide.
Year-to-date revenue collections from gaming, however, are up 3.8 percent to $574 million.