July marks seventh month of decline for gaming

Nevada's casinos have been on a downward slide now longer than they were after 9/11.

Gaming win fell nearly 13 percent in July compared to the same month last year with casino operators reporting $997.3 million total take. And that makes the seventh straight month of declines.

Gaming Control Board Analyst Frank Streshley said that is the longest period of month-over-month declines since gaming officials began recording that. The next longest, he said, was five months of decline, which followed 9/11.

He said part of the reason is that July 2007 was, at the time, the all-time record month for Nevada casinos and more than 10 percent higher than the previous July.

Gaming tax collections were just as weak.

Streshley said gaming tax collections were down 24 percent this month to just $58.3 million. That is $18 million less than last year's collections.

Only one reporting area in the state escaped the economic damage. South Shore casinos in the Tahoe Basin reported a 10.9 percent increase in win with $40.8 million for the month.

Streshley said South Shore casinos benefited from strong table games play " up 21.5 percent " during the Celebrity Golf Tournament.

Overall, game and table win was down 17.3 percent to $304.8 million. The biggest dip was in high-end Baccarat, which fell 26 percent. Blackjack suffered a 21 percent decrease. But both those games showed an increase in the total amount played during the monthly. Streshley said the players just did much better.

Sports pools statewide actually lost money in July " about $2 million.

Slot win was also down " by 11 percent to $678 million. There the players just weren't betting as much: Coin in was down nearly 10 percent to a total of $10.7 billion bet. That is $1.1 billion less than July 2007.

The Carson Valley area showed a decrease as well, but only by 2.9 percent. Total win for the area, which includes valley portions of Douglas County, was $10 million. While slot win dipped 3 percent, game and table win was up 1.1 percent.

North Shore casinos were down by nearly 4 percent to $4.8 million for the month. Slots were off 6.2 percent but a 2 percent increase in game and table win offset that.

Washoe County as a whole was down nearly 4 percent for the month to $88.5 million. That is the 13th straight month of declining win for Washoe casinos.

- Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.


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