January gaming win highest in state history

Nevada's casinos kicked off the new millennium with a record $866.5 million jackpot during January.

Casino officials around the state credited year 2000 party-goers, particularly in Las Vegas, for the 7.3 percent increase over January 1999. And gaming analyst Frank Streshley pointed out that January 1999 had been a huge month for the state - a 16.7 percent increase over the year before that.

He said casino operators credited the highly touted millennium New Year's celebration to start the month and an excellent turnout of Super Bowl bettors to finish the month.

The previous monthly winning record for Nevada casinos was $819.6 million in September 1999.

In addition, Streshley said, January was a record month for tax collections, pumping $56.6 million into the state treasury.

But the celebrating wasn't universal. Despite huge crowds of New Year's revelers, Stateline casinos won 4.2 percent less than last January. An examination of the numbers shows the $1.1 million drop in winnings can be completely blamed on baccarat, which went from a $1.2 million profit in January 1999 to a $155,000 loss this past January.

Streshley said Stateline casinos were also coming off a strong 17.8 percent increase in January 1999.

This year's total winnings were $24.8 million compared with $25.9 million a year ago.

North Shore casinos won 20.3 percent more this January, raking in $3.9 million. Streshley said the big changes there were in table games, particularly blackjack, where winnings were up 60 percent. In slots, the nickel machines showed a 51.6 percent increase at North Shore.

Carson Valley, which includes Carson City as well as valley portions of Douglas County, did a bit better than the state with a 7.4 percent increase to $7.2 million. Likewise, Reno reported a 7.4 percent increase over last year and total winnings of $63.7 million.

Statewide, a total of $888 million was wagered in slot machines and another $242 million on table games. The biggest change in any single category was craps, which increased 34.6 percent for the month. In slot play, Megabucks play showed a 14 percent increase to $20.6 million.

Nickel machine winnings were up 35 percent statewide.


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