September gaming numbers drop again
November 12, 2008
September was the ninth straight decrease in total win for Nevada casinos.
“People are definitely spending less, and it comes back again to consumer confidence and how much of their disposal income people are willing to spend ” or whether they are going to spend at all,” Control Board analyst Frank Streshley said.
The Carson Valley Area, which includes valley portions of Douglas County as well as the capital, took a 20.6 percent hit, which may be its biggest drop in monthly win. Total win was $8.45 million with both slots and game and table take down more than 20 percent.
Although the statewide drop from September of 2007 was just 5.4 percent, the actual drop was actually much worse because a chunk of the $1 billion total was from the final weekend in August, which didn’t get reported until September. That occurs when a month ends on a weekend day because the slot machine revenues aren’t totaled until the following Monday.
Streshley said September’s slot machine “coin in” was down more than 14 percent statewide, while total slot revenue, including the final weekend in August, was down just 3.6 percent.
In addition, September numbers were buoyed upward more than 3 percent by a 68 percent increase in Baccarat win to $76.6 million.
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“If you exclude Baccarat, win would have been down 8.8 percent,” said Streshley. “But coin in is what really stood out.”
Washoe County took a big hit in September. Washoe’s 20.5 percent decrease compared to the same month of 2007 was the biggest drop there since gaming control began keeping monthly statistics in the early 1980s. For Washoe, September was also the ninth straight month of year-over-year declines with total win just barely reaching $77 million.
At North Shore casinos in Washoe, the decrease was 22.6 percent to just $3 million in winnings. And that compares to a September 2007 which was 5 percent down from the year before that.
South Shore casinos at Tahoe took a 16.8 percent hit to $24.5 million for the month. Game and table revenue was off nearly 41 percent there with a “21” win cut in half compared to 2007.
Even Elko County, which has been the state’s least damaged reporting area because of the strength of the mining industry, suffered in September. Win there fell to $24 million ” 12.6 percent less than September 2007.
Streshley said there were a number of factors, including an “unfavorable calendar” with one less weekend than last year. In addition, last September was a strong month with total win up 7.5 percent.
He said big factors in September that lowered the gambling activity were concerns over the massive federal bailout of the nation’s financial system and sharp declines in the stock market. Also, there were no major special events to draw more tourists into the state.
He said that was especially damaging to the sports book numbers, where win fell 42 percent.
“Probably 95 percent of games are on Saturday and Sunday,” he said.
Beyond that, Streshley said there were no major events in September to draw tourists and a much more turbulent economy to discourage them from coming.
“Win” is a gross figure, with no operating costs or other expenses deducted. It represents casino revenue only, not hotel, restaurant or bar revenues.
Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at email@example.com or 687-8750. The Associated Press contributed to this story.