Nevada casinos win $989 million in August, 13th positive month - Friday 14th of October 2005

Nevada casinos won $989 million from gamblers in August, giving the clubs a 9.3 percent increase over August 2004 and their 13th positive month in a row, the state Gaming Control Board said Tuesday.

"Its a little better than we expected," said Frank Streshley, senior research analyst for the board. "We knew going in that we were up against a tough month from last year," when casinos posted an 11.2 percent gain.

Streshley said the latest take was helped by the opening of a new Caesars Palace tower on the Las Vegas Strip, along with a strong increase statewide in baccarat winnings. That offset slumps in blackjack, craps and roulette winnings during August.

The win was the amount left in casino coffers after gamblers wagered $13.1 billion during August. About $10.9 billion was bet on slot machine games, and the rest on table games.

"Win" is a gross figure, with no operating costs or other expenses deducted. It represents casino revenue only - not hotel, restaurant or bar revenues.

In September, the state collected $61.9 million in percentage fees based on the August win. Thats up 4 percent compared with the fees collected for the same month in 2004.

For the July-September quarter, the state collections totaled $181.2 million. Thats 5.2 percent higher than the estimate last May from the state Economic Forum.

A breakdown of the casinos $989 million win shows that Las Vegas Strip resorts accounted for nearly half the total, $486.6 million. Thats a 13.3 percent increase over the same month a year ago.

Most other major markets around the state also reported gains, except for downtown Las Vegas which declined 2.6 percent, Stateline casinos on Tahoes south shore which were down 8.7 percent, north-shore clubs at Tahoe which were down 6.8 percent, and the Carson City-Carson Valley area, down 0.5 percent.

The slight Carson City-Carson Valley decline was the first for the area in 28 months, Streshley noted.

Clubs in Washoe County, encompassing Reno, had their third straight positive month, winning $92.2 million for a 2.5 percent gain. A breakdown shows Reno was up 3.1 percent while neighboring Sparks was up 1.4 percent.

Baccarat tables around the state - most of them on the Las Vegas Strip - won $35.6 million for a 30.7 percent increase. Mini-baccarat tables added another $22.2 million for a 34.9 percent gain.

Blackjack games took in about $98 million, down 0.3 percent. Craps took in $29.6 million, down 8.4 percent, and roulette generated about $26 million for the clubs, down 1.7 percent.

Statewide slot winnings were up 9.3 percent for the month, to $697.4 million. The biggest producers were multi-denomination slots, which accounted for $255.8 million of the total, up 56 percent.

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