Nevada casinos reported a 12.44 percent decrease in January gaming win compared with the same month a year ago.
But it wasn’t a decline in business or big winners. It was the calendar, Gaming Control Board Analyst Mike Lawton said.
A year ago, New Year’s Eve fell on a Saturday. This January, New Year’s Eve was on a Monday, greatly reducing the business in the state’s resorts.
A year ago, Chinese New Year was in January. This year, it is in February, so the win from that holiday hasn’t been reported yet.
Total statewide win fell $129.4 million to $909.2 million, Lawton said. The big culprit was a 50 percent drop in Baccarat win, which accounted for $97.5 million of the decrease. Chinese New Year, resort operators say, draws a huge number of high-rollers from Asia.
The gaming “win” is what was left in casino coffers after gamblers wagered $10.7 billion on card and dice games, sports betting and slot machines.
Baccarat is primarily a factor in Las Vegas, not the rest of the state. The difference in the New Year’s Eve calendar hurt volume of play in nearly every market across Nevada, Lawton said. Volume fell significantly statewide.
Churchill County reported a 3.76 percent overall decrease in gaming win to $1.69 million. Slot win was down just 1.7 percent for the month, but game and table win, which makes up just $57,000 of that total, fell 38.9 percent.
The Carson Valley area, which includes valley portions of Douglas County, saw a 5.7 percent decrease to $7.34 million. That is the fourth consecutive month of declines for that area, Lawton said. This time, both slots and table games were down because of lower volumes of play, driving win down $443,000 below January 2012 totals.
South Shore casinos at Lake Tahoe also were down from a year ago, but only by 2.6 percent. Total win reported was $61,78 million. Lawton said those casinos were up against a tough comparison given that the previous January was up 8.8 percent overall. This January, he said, South Shore saw a 24.5 percent increase in game and table win, which was erased by the 14.8 percent decrease in slot win.
North Shore casinos at Crystal Bay was one of the few bright spots, reporting a slight — two thirds of 1 percent — increase in win. That amounts to a $12,000 increase in total win to $1.94 million.