Record October gaming win despite high baccarat losses
December 11, 2006
Nevada casinos set an October record with $1.062 billion in total winnings.
But the Carson Valley area, which includes valley portions of Douglas County as well as the capital city, didn’t share in the wealth, winning just $10.3 million, 9.4 percent less than they did in October 2005.
The apparent reason for the poor showing in markets such as Carson City, which depend heavily on weekend visitors, was October had one less Saturday this year than last.
October was the second negative month for the Carson Valley reporting area this fiscal year. July winnings were down nearly 8 percent compared to the previous year and September was up but by less than 1 percent. Only August turned in a solid increase this fiscal year with winnings up nearly 7 percent.
Statewide, the win was just one-third of a percent more than last October. But Gaming Control Board analyst Frank Streshley said it was a strong month given the poor showing by baccarat. Winnings from that game fell 54 percent to $29.2 million and by near 63 percent in mini-baccarat.
He primarily blamed the win percentage, which was less than half the 11.5 percent gaming experts consider normal for Baccarat.
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Because most baccarat games are located on the Strip, win totals there were off 5.6 percent.
If baccarat is factored out of the equation, the statewide win total would have been up 3.9 percent.
Also down for the month was the take from sports betting. The drop was blamed on football, where winnings were off by one-third. Again, Streshley said, one less Saturday in the reporting period was the main issue since most games and betting occur on the weekend.
Casinos at Stateline reported a 2.5 percent increase in gaming win, a total of $29.2 million. The big difference was game and table play, where winnings increased 7.6 percent.
Every reporting area in Washoe County was down in October. Overall, the county reported a 3 percent decrease in winnings to $93 million. Washoe hasn’t had a winning month this fiscal year. It was down a half percent in September, seven-tenths of a percent in August and a decrease of 1.4 percent in July.
North Shore casinos were off 5.3 percent to just under $3.3 million.
But there were a number of bright spots, particularly in the parts of Clark County other than the Strip and downtown. The rapidly growing North Las Vegas, Boulder Strip, Mesquite and the “Balance of County” areas were all up by double-digit percentages, while Laughlin fell just short of that mark with a 9.65 percent gain.
And in the east, Elko County casinos reported an overall gain of 4.4 percent.
Based on October’s win numbers, the state collected $70.8 million in gaming taxes, a one-quarter percent decrease from the prior year. When combined with the extremely weak collections from September – down 13.65 percent – gaming-tax collections thus far this fiscal year are running a total of $20.9 million less than projected by the Economic Forum.
Experts weren’t too worried, however, because the forum projection is annual rather than monthly and, while revenues run behind in the fall, they tend to catch up in the spring and summer months.
• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at email@example.com or 687-8750.
Area October Win Percentage
Statewide $1.062 billion 0.37%
Carson Valley $10.28 million -9.4%
Stateline $29.2 million 2.55%
North Shore $3.29 million -5.31%
Washoe County $93 million -3.03%
Reno $67.7 million -2.12%
Clark County $889.9 million 0.65%
Las Vegas Strip $532.2 million -5.58%