Carson-area casinos lose $7.5 million in '08

Carson Valley area casinos lost $7.5 million in fiscal year 2008, according to the annual Gaming Abstract released Friday.

Statewide, Nevada's major hotel-casinos won just $721.2 million, one-third of what they netted the previous year.

There are 14 casinos with more than $1 million in gaming revenue in the Carson Valley reporting area, which includes valley portions of Douglas County and Carson City. Those casinos generated $114.1 million in gaming revenue and total revenue of $176.3 million during the year. But after all expenses, their net income before federal income taxes was a negative $7.5 million.

"This reflects both the national and global economy," Control Board analyst Frank Streshley told the Associated Press. "During the first half of the fiscal year, revenues were still growing. But the second six months was the start of our current decline and we saw a material downturn."

According to the report, gaming brings in two-thirds of the revenue for those casinos.

All but 7 percent of that comes from coin operated devices.

The Abstract also tallies other sources of revenue including rooms, food and beverage sales which make up the remaining one-third.

Streshley said this year's loss mirrors the $7.53 million loss those same casinos reported for Fiscal 2007.

South Shore casinos at Lake Tahoe also suffered in 2008, suffering their first loss in 22 years. Total reported revenues for the five resorts at Stateline were $518.6 million. But expenses were $19.3 million more than that. That compares to a $26.5 million before-tax profit in fiscal 2007.

Overall, the 266 non-restricted gaming licensees in Nevada generated a net income of $721.2 million. Streshley said that is 68 percent less net income than in fiscal 2007 and 3.5 percent drop in gaming revenues, which finished the year at just over $12 billion.

Statewide, gaming revenue accounted for just 48 percent of total casino revenues.

Total revenue for 2008 was $25 billion, down a percent from 2007. That means net income is just 2.9 percent of total revenues.

Streshley said that is the lowest net profit reported by Nevada's casinos since 2002, which was hurt by the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Streshley said casinos were hurt not only by the economic slump but by rising costs, primarily energy expenses and gasoline prices, which were high through the end of the fiscal year June 30.

In Washoe County, net income was cut in half compared to 2007: $63.5 million from $132.3 million. Total gaming revenue there dropped nearly $70 million, accounting for nearly all of the decrease in total revenue, which finished the year at $1.8 billion.

Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.


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