Casinos can blame the calendar for what appears to be a drop in total win for January.
Last year, casinos had their New Year's holiday mostly in January. This year, most of the weekend was in December with Monday, the final day of the three-day weekend, falling on Jan. 1.
Last year, Chinese New Year was also in January. This year, February.
And this year's January had one less weekend day than 2006.
Those seemingly insignificant differences combined to produce a 2 percent decrease in gaming win compared to January 2006. Every market in the state showed a decrease in total win except outlying Clark County, where the Red Rock Casino - now open just 10 months - boosted revenues by 12.6 percent, and South Lake Tahoe where total win rose more than 8 percent.
At Stateline, both slot and table win increased bringing total win to $31.1 million. Gaming Control board analyst Frank Streshley said he has no explanation why the southern shore of Lake Tahoe did so well when the rest of the state is reporting decreases.
The numbers were especially surprising since January 2006 was an excellent month there.
Statewide, the total win was $1.18 billion - $23.7 million less than a year ago. While slot play was flat, the decrease in game and table win was $24.7 million.
"That's all of the loss," said Streshley.
But unlike some months, Baccarat wasn't to blame. Win there was flat at $90.8 million. While 21 and roulette were down 3 percent to 4 percent, the big dip was in sportsbook play - 34.6 percent less than a year ago.
Gov. Jim Gibbons pointed out January 2006 was also, at that time, the record setting month for Nevada casinos, making for a difficult comparison this year.
At North Shore casinos, the drop was 12 percent to $2.6 million and caused by a 37.7 percent decrease in game and table win.
In Washoe as a whole, the 6.3 percent drop in total win to $72.8 million was that county's worst month in a year.
Carson City, which has only minimal table play, saw total win go down nearly 8.6 percent to $8.87 million.
Some of the win missing in January helped give December a 17 percent increase over the previous December. And Streshley said the rest of what the casinos didn't get in January will show up in February's numbers.
"We're expecting a really strong February," he said.
• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 687-8750.
By the numbers
Carson Valley$8.87 million-8.58%
North Shore$2.6 million-12%
Washoe County$72.8 million-6.3%
Clark County$967.8 million-1.98%
Las Vegas Strip$605.4 million-3.5%