Tahoe gamers enjoy another double digit month

STATELINE - Casinos here are on a roll this year. For the third straight month of the new fiscal year, they chalked up a solid increase in gaming win during September - 14.74 percent.

That follows the 28.75 percent increase in August and puts the Stateline casinos up 15.63 percent for the first quarter of this fiscal year with $118.7 million in profit. Gaming Control Board Analyst Frank Streshley said Stateline casinos have had seven straight months of increases.

He said the increases aren't really because of any one thing or event.

"It's more individual good marketing by the properties up there paying off collectively for the whole market," he said.

The Stateline increase came even though Nevada gaming's 30-month streak of gaming win increases was broken in September. Overall, the state's $788.4 million win for the month was 3.79 percent less than the $819.5 million reported in September 1999.

The loss was entirely in the southern part of the state. Clark County brought in 7 percent less this past September than the same month a year ago and every area of the county from the Strip to Mesquite and downtown Las Vegas was negative except Laughlin which managed a 1.45 percent increase.

"It's more of what happened last year than what happened this year," said Streshley pointing out that last year, the Bellagio, Mandalay Bay and Venetian as well as Paris were new, producing a huge gain in the September 1999 winnings. In addition, the De La Hoya-Trinidad title fight was held in Las Vegas September 1999.

This year, he said, even Las Vegas couldn't match the bump in business produced by all those things.

The overall loss was reduced because the rest of the state - primarily Stateline and Washoe County - enjoyed solid increases.

Washoe brought in $106.4 million - 8.37 percent more - pushing its total winnings to $317.3 million for the quarter - a 6.16 percent increase.

Carson and Douglas area casinos, including Carson City and valley portions of Douglas County, showed a 4.88 percent increase to $8.3 million. That is in line with the 5.43 percent increase to $25.3 million in winnings for the first three months of the fiscal year.

Streshley said Carson City has had only two negative months in the past three or four years but at the same time only a couple of months with double digit increases.

He said the capital's gaming numbers continue rising slowly and steadily.

Outside of Clark County, the only negative numbers in the state were reported by North Lake Tahoe casinos. Incline Village and Crystal Bay reported 9.33 percent fewer winnings than last year - $6.9 million - which erased the area's positive numbers during the previous two months.

Because of September, North Tahoe's total winnings for the quarter are one-half percent less than the same period last year - $27.6 million.

As in Clark County, it seems more because this September was being compared with a very strong September 1999 when North Tahoe casinos had a 15.7 percent increase in winnings.


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