Gaming win falls 20 percent since 2007

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Statewide gaming win fell more than 20 percent during the past two calendar years.

Gaming Control Board analyst Frank Streshley said the rate of decline slowed toward the end of 2009, showing improvement for the final quarter - a good sign for those seeking signs of economic recovery.

Total win for 2009 was $10.4 billion, a 10.4 percent drop from 2008. That is on top of the 9.7 percent drop in 2008.

"We have to go back to 2003 to find a lower gaming win total," said Streshley.

The good news, he said, is that while the first half of 2009 was down 13.4 percent, the second half was off just 7.2 percent.

Statewide win fell 3.24 percent in the final month of 2009 to $859.3 million.

The Carson Valley Area, which includes valley portions of Douglas County as well as the capital, saw an 8.5 percent drop for the year to $102.1 million. But Carson finished the year on a high note with an 8.5 percent increase over December 2008.

Streshley said he has no data to account for that increase in a month when every other reporting area in the state except the Strip was down.

The area hardest hit during 2009, Streshley said, was Stateline at South Lake Tahoe, where annual win fell 25.8 percent to $226 million. That is South Shore's sixth decline in the last seven years and the lowest total win since 1983.

South shore has been hard hit by the proliferation of Indian casinos between it and its primary source of customers, California's Central Valley and the Bay Area.

Washoe County also has been hurt by those casinos. Total win of $805.2 million is a drop of 13.4 percent and the lowest total since 1989. Washoe now has 30 straight months of declining revenues.

Pointing to the Strip's 5.9 percent increase in win for December, Streshley predicted the tourist markets would recover sooner than the locals markets.

"Outside the Strip, we're still looking at pretty challenging times," he said.


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