Football betting boosts area’s casino winnings
December 3, 2013
Statewide gaming win decreased nearly 2.6 percent in October as casinos raked in $954.3 million.
But several of the state's small markets, including the Carson Valley Area, benefited significantly from the highest football betting volume ever, a total of $342.7 million, and total statewide casino winnings of $30.3 million for that sport.
The Carson Valley reporting area, which includes both the capital and the valley portions of Douglas County, finished the month 1.35 percent up at just over $8 million — a gain of $108,000. Sports win was up $227,000, more than offsetting a $140,000 loss on the craps tables as well as losses in baseball and keno.
The Las Vegas Strip was down 5 percent overall in October, to $551.3 million. It would have been much worse without the 16.8 percent increase in Baccarat win to $151.2 million. Without Baccarat, October would have been down 5.5 percent statewide.
The final numbers also were hurt by a game that normally doesn't have enough play to swing the needle: roulette. Total win was off more than 68 percent from a year ago to just $16.1 million. Roulette, which normally holds about 22 percent of the amount played each month, held just 9.2 percent in October, the lowest hold percentage on record.
North Lake Tahoe was another beneficiary of the football win, reporting an overall increase of 7.3 percent to $1.77 million. Sports betting pumped up that total by more than $76,000. But the total was dragged down by an actual $19,000 loss on the blackjack tables at North Shore.
South Lake Tahoe had a bad month, down 22.5 percent from a year ago to $12.29 million. It was a tough comparison, given that total win was up nearly 9 percent a year ago.
Washoe County was flat, with total win decreasing less than one-tenth of a percent to $59.79 million — just $8,000 lower.
Churchill County's 10 non-restricted gaming locations reported a 4.1 percent decrease in total win for October. That comes to $1.73 million. Sports betting — again, football — helped offset the decrease with a 131 percent increase, as did other games. Without football and table games win, Churchill would have been down 6.3 percent for the month.
Gaming Control Board analyst Mike Lawton said that October play — particularly Baccarat — was helped by a number of special events including the Juan Manuel Marquez-Timothy Bradley fight and the Chinese Golden Week celebration. But he said it was hurt by the fact that a portion of September revenue a year ago rolled into October, beefing up the 2012 numbers.
The statewide decrease follows two months of strong increases — 11.2 percent in August and 7.4 percent in September.