Gaming win up nearly 8 percent in February

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Casinos in Carson City and Carson Valley posted their 13th straight increase in gaming revenues.

In February, Carson casinos reported 11.9 percent more winnings than the same month of 2001, according to figures released Tuesday by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Board Analyst Frank Streshley said this is the third month of double-digit increases in the past four. Also unlike the rest of the state, Carson Valley increases are driven by slot winnings which were up 12.7 percent for the month, rather than game and table numbers, which increased only 3.2 percent. Total win was just over $7 million.

Nevada's gaming industry is beginning to recover from the combined effects of the economic slump and Sept. 11, but not nearly as much as February's numbers would indicate.

Casinos reported a 7.76 percent increase in winnings for February -- $752.6 million. Unfortunately, that includes the business from both Chinese New Year and the Super Bowl -- both of which were in January last year.

Because those two major weekends moved to February, the Nevada casinos were down nearly 15 percent in January -- the largest one-month decline since the Gaming Control Board began compiling monthly statistics.

Streshley said a better indicator is to compare the first two months of last year with the first two months of this year. January and February combined were down 5.2 percent this year.

Streshley said, however, that is an improvement over November-December numbers which were down 7.5 percent when compared to the same two months a year ago.

"Indications are, yes, we are recovering," said Streshley. "But it's going to be a slow recovery."

Because of those two major holidays -- which attract substantial numbers of high rollers -- the big increase during February was in game and table winnings. While slot winnings were up just 1.2 percent for the month, game and table winnings rose 22.9 percent statewide, accounting for $48.6 million of the $54.2 million increase for February. Furthermore, baccarat accounted for half of the increase in game and table win.

Washoe County reported an 8.7 percent increase in February to $77.5 million. That is the first increase for the area's casinos in 11 months.

Stateline reported a 19.4 percent increase -- the largest for Stateline's casinos since November 2000. Total win reported there was $25.3 million for the month.

The Las Vegas Strip was up 10 percent in February to $371.7 million in total winnings.


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