State's gaming win up

Nevada's gaming win increased 4.3 percent in November as casinos raked in $31.4 million more than they did the same month of 2002.

But the increase was all due to slot revenues and almost entirely because of the growth in Clark County's gaming.

While slot win increased 11.6 percent statewide, game and table win dropped 8.1 percent.

And while Clark County casinos reported a 6.5 percent increase for the month, every other area of the state except Carson City and tiny North Lake Tahoe reported a drop in total win.

"A lot of the gains we're making in Clark County are being offset in the rest of the state," said Gaming Control Board analyst Frank Streshley.

Gov. Kenny Guinn said he was encouraged that gaming is showing some growth - even though the 1.76 percent increase in win so far this fiscal year is far below the 5 percent projected by the Economic Forum.

For the Carson Valley area, which includes valley portions of Douglas County as well as the capital, casinos reported a 5.14 percent gain to $81.5 million for November. Much of that increase is due to the opening of Casino Fandango and the expansion of properties along Highway 50 East, including Slot World.

For the state as a whole, total win was $763.7 million. More than $631.4 million of that was in Clark County, where every reporting area reported an increase. North Las Vegas was the best performer in the state with a 44 percent jump for the month. North Las Vegas has reported double-digit increases in five of the past six months and is up 20.8 percent so far this fiscal year.

In contrast, Washoe County had another bad month, its lowest November win in a decade and a 7.35 percent drop from a year ago. Total win there was just $76.5 million in November.

The only bright spot in Washoe was at North Shore, where the reopened Crystal Bay Club pumped up numbers 15.8 percent to $2.6 million. The closure of the Crystal Bay Club caused a 14.4 percent drop in the area's win in November 2002.

Reno's numbers were off nearly 8.3 percent with the closings of the Sundowner Casino and the Golden Phoenix passing the one-year mark - which means Reno's contribution to the economy is no longer new to the overall win.

Even Elko was down - 6.5 percent to $16.99 million.

Streshley said slots carried the state while game and table revenues continued to struggle. He said those play numbers haven't come back since the start of the Iraq war and show most sharply in high-range play. Baccarat win was down 50.7 percent and, without that problem, he said overall state win would have been up 7.2 percent for the month. In fact, baccarat is down 36 percent so far this fiscal year.

But baccarat wasn't alone in its struggles. Craps win dropped 23.2 percent, blackjack profits 13.2 percent and roulette 6.2 percent.

Tax collections for December were up sharply - 22.3 percent to a total of $46.5 million. But the largest part of that increase came from the boost in gaming taxes imposed by the 2003 Legislature.


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