January gaming win down statewide, but Tahoe up

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Statewide gaming win dipped 2.9 percent in January because of fewer special events.

But the two Lake Tahoe markets saw a significant increase, according to Gaming Control Board analyst Mike Lawton.

Total win for the state was $925.3 million, a decrease of $27.3 million as Game and Table win decreased 11.6 percent. The biggest issue was the 26 percent decrease in Baccarat win, down 35.9 million compared to January last year. It wasn’t so much the fault of a decrease this year as the fact Baccarat was up more than 69 percent in January 2015.

Lawton said last year, the Super Bowl was played Feb. 1, meaning all the run-up action occurred in the January days before the game. This year, he said the game was Feb. 7 so all that play — including the sports book betting — should show up in the February report.

That fact helps explain the 3.3 percent decrease in sports book win this year — a decrease of $19.6 million.

Slot win was up 3.2 percent to $579.3 million this January but it wasn’t enough to offset the decrease in games, which hit blackjack and other games as well as Baccarat. Even without Baccarat, total games win was down some 12 percent this January.

The story was much different at the two Lake Tahoe markets. North Shore casinos won $2.4 million — a 22.4 percent, $446,000 increase over a year ago. The number was driven by Game and Table win that increased better than 69 percent to $412,000. Total “21” win was up 94.8 percent to $319,000 primarily because the casinos held 17.6 percent of the amount bet compared to just 9.2 percent in January 2015.

Hold also was the story behind South Shore casino win, which increased 9.2 percent over a year ago to $15.4 million, a difference of $1.3 million.

The comparison was easy since total win was down 3.86 percent in 2015. Slot win was up just under 2 percent but Game and Table win increased 25 percent this January. Sports betting was the big difference, rising $648,000 — an increase of more than 430 percent despite the fact betting volume was down. Games volume and slot volume were both down this year.

The difference was hold, the amount of total bets the casinos kept. Slot hold was 6.14 percent compared to 5.4 percent a year back while Game and Table hold rose from 9.12 percent to 13.19 percent.

The Carson Valley Area, which includes valley portions of Douglas County, reported $7.59 million in win, an increase of just under 1 percent — roughly $70,000. Slot win was up 3.8 percent or $130,000 but that was reduced by the 12.6 percent decrease in table game winnings. Table games accounted for just $419,000 of the total in Carson Valley.

Churchill County increased total win by 1.4 percent to $1.56 million. All but $36,000 of that came from slot play with just $36,000 from table games. Slot win was up just a hair under 2 percent while games fell nearly 18 percent in January.

Washoe County reported a 1.87 percent decrease to $58.77 million with all markets down except North Shore.

Clark County was off 3.3 percent to $810.5 million. Most southern markets did just fine, reporting solid increases — double digit pluses in North Las Vegas and the Boulder Strip. But the Strip itself was down 7.7 percent, negating those other increases.

Percentage fee (gaming tax) collections total $457.5 million so far this fiscal year. That’s 3.75 percent above projections used to build the state budget.


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