For the seventh time in the calendar year, Nevada’s total gaming win topped $1 billion in December, finishing the year with a 5.79 percent increase to $1.08 billion.
In addition, total win for the year was more than $12 billion — by a hair — for the first time since before the recession hit at the end of 2007. That is the third highest total win for a year in state history behind 2006 and 2007.
Gaming Control Board Analyst Mike Lawton said those totals came despite another weak performance by Baccarat, which dipped 28.9 percent for the month. Baccarat he said recorded just two monthly increases in 2019. Without Baccarat, Game and Table win would have increased 9.4 percent in December.
The driver for the December increase, Lawton said, was slot win of $700 million, up 10.1 percent or $64.2 million.
For the year, slot win totaled $71.9 billion, a 2.9 percent increase. Slot win has now increased in nine of the last 10 years and for the past five consecutive years. Slots now account for 65.9 percent of total statewide win.
Casino officials say that, with the economic recovery, those numbers show that “Joe Six Pack,” the average small bettor, has returned to the casinos.
Game and Table win, however, was down 2.6 percent for the year. Without Baccarat, that category would have actually been up two-thirds of a percent.
Slot play got some help in December from solid increases in “21” win, by 20 percent, and Craps, by 17 percent.
Although sports betting is still a relatively small percentage of total gaming win, just over 3 percent, Lawton said it’s growing dramatically. For the year, the sports pool generated $329.1 million, a 9.5 percent increase on $5.3 billion in total wagers. Both the win and volume are all time records for the sports books. This was the 10th straight year of record setting numbers by the sports books.
Carson Valley, which includes valley portions of Douglas County as well as the capital, finished the year up just a hair under a percent with $111.33 million in total win. But December’s decrease of almost 2 percent to $9.3 million finished the year on a sour note.
North Shore casinos at Crystal Bay reported the largest decrease of the month, 7.17 percent to $2.15 million. North Shore was down 6.16 percent for the year to $14.66 million.
South Shore casinos at Stateline fared much better, finishing the year at $18.1 million, an 8.1 percent increase over December 2018. For the year, South Shore was up 2.32 percent to $128.4 million total win.
Washoe County was down 2 percent in December to $71.9 million, and finished with a 1.59 percent overall decrease for the year to $626.8 million. That ended four consecutive increases for Washoe casinos.
Churchill County’s 10 non-restricted gaming locations finished strong with a 3.43 percent increase to just over $1.8 million in December. A 501 percent increase in sports pool win to $26,000 and 89 percent increase in table game win to $50,000 accounted for that increase.
But Churchill casinos were up just 0.56 — a bit over a half percent — for the year. Total win was $21.27 million in 2019.