October win for Nevada casinos is $924.9 million | NevadaAppeal.com

October win for Nevada casinos is $924.9 million

BRENDAN RILEY

Nevada casinos won a near-record $924.9 million from gamblers in October for a 12.9 percent gain compared with the same month a year earlier, the state Gaming Control Board reported Friday.

The win was the second best month on record for the Nevada resorts. Their best month was in March 2004, with a win of $930 million.

Both slot machines and table games were up – nearly 31 percent for the games and 4.4 percent for slots. Every major casino market except for clubs on Lake Tahoe’s south shore, hit with harsh October weather, had a positive month.

“October’s gaming win with recent sales tax reports show business trending stronger in Nevada,” Gov. Kenny Guinn stated. “This latest data leaves me optimistic about the ongoing economic recovery.”

Ironically, a poor national economic factor – a weak U.S. dollar – helped the Nevada casinos because more foreign players, who tend to bet more and stay longer, are coming to Nevada, the GCB’s Frank Streshley said.

Streshley also said Americans think twice about vacationing abroad because of the weak dollar, and that benefits Nevada resorts, especially in Las Vegas.

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The win was the amount left over after gamblers wagered $13.4 billion during October. That included $10.9 billion in slot machines and the balance on table games.

“Win” is a gross figure, with no operating costs or other expenses deducted. And it’s casino revenue only – separate from hotel, restaurant or bar revenues generated by the resorts.

The state collected $63 million in percentage fees based on the October win, up 9.9 percent compared with the fees collected for the same month in 2003. The fees so far this fiscal year are 4.1 percent higher than the amount predicted by the state’s Economic Forum last year.

Las Vegas Strip resorts accounted for $491.9 million of the total win, up 20.3 percent. That’s the strongest monthly win going back several years, Streshley said.

Downtown Las Vegas was barely up, 0.2 percent; while North Las Vegas was up 5.4 percent and the Boulder Strip was up 7 percent.

In northern Nevada, Reno clubs were up 2.4 percent while Sparks casinos were up 4.6 percent. Stateline casinos on Tahoe’s south shore were down 16.5 percent, and Streshley said that was due mainly to October storms that caused some road closures.

The $924.9 million statewide win during October included $588.2 million from slot machines and $327.5 million from table games.

Games that produced the most revenue included blackjack at $94.7 million, down 1.9 percent; craps at $35.6 million, down 8.8 percent; and baccarat at $57.1 million, up 160 percent. Poker games won $9.2 million, up 55 percent; and sports betting operations won $34.9 million, up 428 percent.