Casinos set several records in 2004

Nevada casinos had a record-breaking year in calendar 2004 raking in $10.56 billion.

The win is 9.7 percent more than the previous year and the largest percentage growth in the past five years.

Gaming Control Board analyst Frank Streshley said 10 of the 12 months were record setting for that month and nine of those were double-digit increases from the previous year.

Streshley said gamblers wagered $149.2 billion during the year. The vast majority - $124 billion - was in slots and other electronic games. Game and table action totaled $25.2 billion, but is the segment which grew the most - 21 percent compared to 5.3 percent for slots.

One of the driving forces behind the growth in game-and-table win is the popularity of poker which grew 44.8 percent during 2004.

The growth was partly offset by a drop in sportsbook win by 8.4 percent. Since the amount wagered at sportsbooks increased 11.8 percent, bettors apparently did better during 2004.

Las Vegas Strip casino winnings increased 12 percent compared with just 2.3 percent in 2003. That is more than half of total won by all Nevada casinos - $5.33 billion.

Streshley said the Carson Valley Area, which includes valley portions of Douglas County as well as the capital city, reported a record $112.6 million in win - up 9.4 percent. But he said the Carson area is the state's best overall performer, averaging 6.2 percent annual growth over the past decade compared to 4.3 percent a year for the state. Carson's take increase not only because of economic recovery but by the opening of Casino Fandango.

South Shore casinos were up less than a percent and North Shore reported a 14 percent increase.

Streshley said it was a rare year when every reporting area was up from 2003. But even though gaming growth was solid in Washoe County - up 15 percent - Reno slipped from third most profitable reporting area in the state to fourth.

The Las Vegas Strip remained the number one gaming locale followed by the unincorporated areas of Clark County called "the balance of Clark County." Boulder Strip moved into third place in 2004 with total win of $791.7 million compared to $742.2 million in Reno.

- Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or at 687-8750.


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