Gaming win up in October 11 percent |

Gaming win up in October 11 percent

Nevada casinos reported an 11 percent increase in gaming win for October, the third straight month of increases.

Gaming Control Board Analyst Mike Lawton said the numbers were positive compared with October 2009 in almost every reporting area and every category – except the Carson Valley Area, which includes Carson City, and in South Lake Tahoe and Sparks.

Lawton said he had no good explanation for the pattern of gaming win in the Carson area which has been up and down this year with little relation to what’s happening statewide. Total win dropped 4.58 percent in October to $8.75 million, leaving the area just 1.8 percent up over last year so far this fiscal year. In October, the amount wagered by slot players was down 4.3 percent.

Lawton said this is the first time since April-May-June of 2007 the state’s casinos have had three straight months of year-over-year increases. Total statewide win was $888.57 million.

But he did note that the 11 percent increase just reverses the 11 percent decrease reported in October 2009.

Lawton said October was also notable because total win would have increased even without the nearly

40 percent increase in baccarat win to $91.3 million statewide. In previous months this year, deducting baccarat winnings turned increases negative.

But Lawton said there was one very hopeful number in October’s data: For the first time in two years, there was an increase, albeit less than a percent, in the total amount of money gamblers played in machines.

Until now, most of the increases reported by casinos were in high-end play. He said rising slot play is a sign regular middle-class players are starting to return to the casinos.

“We’ve been waiting for that,” said Lawton.

There also was a dramatic increase statewide in the amount won by Nevada’s sports books. The $35.7 million won there was a 113 percent increase over October 2009.

“For two consecutive months, sports books have been beating the public soundly,” he said.

For the fiscal year beginning July 1, total gaming win is up 4.35 percent. Tax collections from that increase are up 5.87 percent to $271.2 million.