January-February gaming win up 5.4 percent | NevadaAppeal.com

January-February gaming win up 5.4 percent

by Geoff Dornan, Appeal Capitol Bureau

Gaming win in Nevada casinos increased 5.4 percent for the first two months of the year, with Carson City casinos continuing their strong showing.

But Gov. Kenny Guinn says the statewide gains make only a slight change in the state’s financial situation, since gaming tax collections are now $16.9 million below what they were forecast when the budget was built two years ago.

“And this shortfall could increase over the remaining months of this fiscal year, adding to the state’s overall budget deficit,” Guinn said.

When viewed alone, February numbers were basically flat compared to the same month last year — up just 0.45 percent.

The two-month look helps the state compare similar gaming situations. This year’s Super Bowl occurred in January where last year the game was delayed until the start of February. Because Super Bowl is a huge draw, for gaming overall in Las Vegas and for sports books statewide, it makes the two years hard to compare without combining the two months.

February alone showed less than a half percent increase in win while January was up 7.9 percent.

On the Las Vegas Strip, this February was up just two-tenths of a percent while last year reported a 10.28 percent gain. For the two months, the increase was 7.1 percent over the same period.

Comparisons to the year before Sept. 11, 2001 are also difficult because Chinese New Year, another major annual event for casinos, was in February for the past two years but occurred in January in 2001.

The hardest hit reporting area in the state during February was North Lake Tahoe where total gaming win was off 15.65 percent. Most of that is due to the closure since February 2002 of the Crystal Bay Club.

South Lake Tahoe and Carson City, however, were ahead of the statewide trend, each posting solid increases for February.

In the Carson Valley area, which includes the valley portions of Douglas County as well as the capital’s casinos, win totals increased 8.9 percent to $7.67 million. That is on top of the 11.8 percent increase the Carson area reported in February 2002.

At South Shore, the story was similar. This February’s numbers increased 3.3 percent to $26.2 million. That is on top of a 19.4 percent increase last February. It is also the sixth straight month of increases for the lake casinos.

Washoe County was down 3.6 percent for the month to $74.7 million.

Statewide, total gaming win was $756.1 million for February.

Highlights of February 2003 revenue report on Nevada casinos

Major details from Wednesday’s state Gaming Control Board’s report on February 2003 winnings by Nevada’s casinos:

–STATEWIDE: $756.1 million win, up 0.5 percent.

–LAS VEGAS STRIP: $372.4 million, up 0.2 percent.

–DOWNTOWN LAS VEGAS: $55.3 million, down 1.9 percent.

–NORTH LAS VEGAS: $18.7 million, up 7.7 percent.

–LAUGHLIN: $47.2 million, down 1.3 percent.

–BOULDER STRIP: $55 million, up 4.7 percent.

–RENO: $54.1 million, down 3.8 percent.

–SPARKS: $12.4 million, down 0.6 percent.

–NORTH TAHOE: $2.3 million, down 15.7 percent.

–STATELINE: $26.2 million, up 3.3 percent.

–ELKO COUNTY: $17.4 million, up 1.2 percent.

–CARSON-GARDNERVILLE-MINDEN: $7.7 million, up 8.9 percent.

–CHURCHILL: $1.3 million, up 2.8 percent.

–HUMBOLDT: $1.2 million, down 8.9 percent.

–WHITE PINE: $401,000 win, up 5.8 percent.