Gaming up double digits statewide in August

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South Shore casinos suffered an off month as wins dropped sharply for the month of August.

Gaming logged its 18th consecutive month of growth in August statewide with another double-digit increase in total winnings. The statewide take was up 11.28 percent over the same month last year to $762.8 million.

While Carson City and Reno shared in the gains, the Tahoe Basin suffered an off month with revenues up just a bit at North Shore and down sharply at South Lake Tahoe.

At Stateline, the numbers were down 8.74 percent compared to last year. But Senior Research Specialist Frank Streshley pointed out August 1998 was a record month for South Tahoe, nearly 23 percent above the same month a year before. And much of South Tahoe's problem can be blamed on a 42 percent drop in Baccarat winnings there. But blackjack winnings were also down nearly 22 percent in the Stateline casinos.

Streshley said the big gains were on the Las Vegas Strip which took in $368 million in August - a 15.6 percent increase over a year ago. Those numbers got a substantial boost from a 34 percent increase in Baccarat winnings but Streshley said the slot take both on the strip and statewide was also double digits above the figures from a year ago.

"One of the biggest reasons for the decrease is that it's compared to August 1998 which was one of the strongest months for quite awhile," Streshley said.

The biggest hit in casino winnings - the amount kept of gaming revenue kept by the casinos after player winnings are paid - was in games and table games, which was down 25.5 percent overall. Baccarat showed the steepest decline at 42.1 percent down compared to 1998. Blackjack wins also decreased, by 21.9 percent, and craps by 18.3 percent.

Washoe County also had a good month with a 6.5 percent increase over a year ago. Total win there was $101.2 million in August with almost all of the gain in Reno.

And Carson City also had a solid month with a 5.1 percent gain over last year to $8 million. The Carson City Area includes not only the capital but the valley portions of Douglas County.

Slot win was up 6.2 percent in Carson City while game and table numbers fell 3.9 percent.

The total win was $34.2 million for August.

North Shore did better than that. But Streshley noted a 1.9 percent increase is basically "flat." Total win was $5.4 million.


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