Gaming win drops 7.5 percent in November

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Carson City and Carson Valley were the exception to the generally bad gaming news in November.

There, total winnings were up 16.7 percent for the month to $7.65 million.

Statewide, gaming win dropped 7.45 percent in November and almost all of the decrease can be blamed on baccarat.

Total winnings reported by Nevada casinos for the month were $721.5 million compared to $779.6 million in November 2000. But of that $58 million decrease, analysts say $43.5 million was due to the decrease in both the win percentage and the total volume of play on the baccarat tables.

Gaming Control Board analyst Frank Streshley said that if baccarat were excluded from the calculations, total winnings would have dropped only 2 percent statewide for the month.

"It was especially disappointing since during the month there was a title fight," said Streshley referring to the Lewis-Rachman contest in Las Vegas. Those events normally draw large numbers of high-stakes gamblers.

In addition, he said Comdex -- the annual computer high-tech tradeshow -- drew only about 110,000 people compared to about 200,000 last year.

"As a result, the Strip actually pulled down the rest of the state," he said.

Even without the 11.9 percent drop in winnings by Strip casinos, over all numbers were down 3.9 percent with Tahoe as well as Washoe County resorts posting decreases.

Both North Lake Tahoe and Stateline were hurt by winter storms that caused road closures through Thanksgiving and the following weekend. North Lake Tahoe numbers were down 2.99 percent to $2.54 million. And that compares to last November which was a 3.3 percent decline from the same month of 1999.

South Lake Tahoe was hit hard by the weather, reporting a 20.42 percent drop in winnings to $20.1 million. But that is when compared to November 2000 which was a 22.64 percent increase over the 1999 figures.

While snow storms may have hurt Tahoe locations in November, the snow dumped on ski slopes that generate most winter income for those areas should help draw more tourists through January and February. New Year's was reportedly a heavy tourist weekend at Tahoe with good amounts of snow on the slopes and clear weather.

The Reno area suffered some because of road conditions in November as well, reporting 3.37 percent less winnings in November than in 2000. The total win for the county was $81.6 million.

That is the eighth straight month of declining numbers for Washoe County.


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