Casino win up for 19th straight month
Nevada casinos set a February record this year, winning more than $1 billion with strong numbers from the largest reporting area in the state.
Two of the exceptions, however, were the Carson City area, which includes valley portions of Douglas County, and North Shore casinos at Lake Tahoe.
Carson was up just 1.25 percent to $9.4 million in total win. Although the amount wagered on table games and sports was up more than 12 percent, the amount the casinos won dropped 13.3 percent for the month – which dragged the overall win down. Gamblers were simply luckier in February.
At the North Shore, total win dropped 9.3 percent to just $2.9 million. While slot winnings were off 3.3 percent, game and table win dropped 20.3 percent for the month and the sports pool was down more than 38 percent.
South Shore casinos, however, won $25.4 million – a 13.7 percent increase over February 2005. While that sounds good, all it does is make up the 12.6 percent drop in casino win suffered by Stateline casinos during winter storms a year ago.
Gaming Control Board analyst Frank Streshley said February was Nevada’s 19th straight month of positive growth. He said the state enjoyed a “very strong” Super Bowl weekend, and that part of Chinese New Year started off the month. He said February wrapped up with a title fight between Antonio Vargas and Shane Mosley at the Mandalay. As a result, the Strip was up 19 percent to $551 million in winnings.
While slot win increased 11.2 percent statewide, the star performers for February were table games, including baccarat which brought in $79.4 million – a 35.6 percent increase – poker, which was up 25.8 percent; and roulette, up 39 percent. Overall, game and table win increased 15.5 percent for the month.
Washoe County casinos enjoyed one of their best months in recent years with an 8.7 percent increase in winnings. After two years of declining numbers, blamed primarily on American Indian casinos in California, Washoe has now had 9 straight months of increases.
Elko County also had a weak month, growing total win just 1.6 percent to $22.4 million. But Streshley said part of that is because the charter plane service bringing tourists from Midwest and mountain states to Red Lion properties in that area ended in January.
Downtown Las Vegas was the other area where win totals dropped in February – nearly 7 percent. Again, however, there is an obvious explanation: The closure of almost all casino space in the Lady Luck for remodeling.
Nevada casinos have enjoyed an overall increase in win of 13.85 percent in the first eight months of this fiscal year. That puts total tax collections from casinos $43.9 million ahead of projections used to build the state budget.
• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at email@example.com or 687-8750.
February gaming win
Area Win Percentage change
Reno $61.3 million 9.97%
Washoe County $84.4 million 8.7%
South Lake Tahoe $25.4 million 13.7%
North Lake Tahoe $2.9 million 9.3%
Carson Valley $9.4 million 1.25%
Las Vegas Strip $551 million 19.1%
Clark County $869.9 million 13.6%
Statewide $1.026 billion 12.84%