Gaming win up just slightly as weak economy continues to hurt business

Nevada gaming tax revenues continued to fall farther behind projections in November, a situation the governor called "bleak" as casinos reported just $732.5 million in winnings.

Just 1.53 percent more than November 2002, gaming tax revenues are now more than $21 million short of projections through the first five months of this fiscal year, Gov. Kenny Guinn said.

Gaming Control Board Analyst Frank Streshley pointed out that November 2001 was a bad month. He said compared to November 2000, the win this past November was down 6 percent.

With the exception of South Lake Tahoe, all Nevada's major gaming markets were basically flat in November. The Carson Valley Area, which includes the capital and valley portions of Douglas County, was up just 1.25 percent to $7.75 million. Washoe County was up 1.19 percent to $82.6 million and Clark County as a whole was up 1.46 percent for the month to $592.8 million.

South Lake Tahoe turned in a 7.61 percent increase for the month -- $21.66 million. But Streshley pointed out that is in comparison to an extremely bad November 2001 when gaming win at Stateline was off 20.4 percent.

North Tahoe's numbers were skewed by the closure of the Crystal Bay Club since November 2001, falling 10.7 percent to $2.27 million.

Guinn described the numbers as "bleak."

"We need to be growing by nearly 18 percent per month in order to get caught up to the economic forum's projection," he said. "Obviously, that is just not realistic."

Game and table helped keep the numbers positive as slot machine winnings slumped, increasing 17.4 percent overall. The star performer was Baccarat, which turned in a 240 percent increase in win.

In addition, blackjack was up 13.7 percent and craps 6.4 percent. Roulette win rose 16.3 percent.

Streshley said the win would have been down 2 percent this past November were it not for the increase in Baccarat winnings.

Slot winnings were down consistently: 19.25 percent for nickel machines and 15.5 percent for quarters. Dollar slot winnings slumped 18.4 percent.

The only bright spot in the slot numbers was Megabucks which, with a jackpot then nearing $20 million, reported a 26.74 percent increase in winnings.

Highlights of November win report on Nevada casinos

Associated Press

Major details from state Gaming Control Board's report on November win totals for Nevada's casinos:

-- Statewide -- $732.5 million, up 1.5 percent.

-- Carson-Gardnerville-Minden -- $7.8 million, up 1.3 percent.

-- Stateline -- $21.7 million, up 7.6 percent.

-- Las Vegas Strip -- $372.5 million, up 6.1 percent.

-- Downtown Las Vegas -- $50 million, down 5.5 percent.

-- North Las Vegas -- $13.4 million, down 16.9 percent.

-- Laughlin -- $44.3 million, down 1.8 percent.

-- Boulder Strip -- $45.2 million, down 3.6 percent.

-- Mesquite -- $8.5 million, no change.

-- Reno -- $60.4 million, up 0.5 percent.

-- Sparks -- $13.4 million, up 3 percent.

-- North Tahoe -- $2.3 million, down 10.7 percent.

-- Elko County -- $18.2 million, up 0.3 percent.

-- Churchill -- $1.3 million, up 7.5 percent.

-- Humbolt -- $1.3 million, down 1.3 percent.

-- White Pine -- $425,000, down 10.2 percent.


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