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Las Vegas Strip Casino Revenues Decline in October

Saturday, December 7th, 2013 Las Vegas Strip Casino Revenues Decline in October

Just when it seemed like the casino market was improving, with top casinos reporting profits in September, October comes bearing bad news. The revenue figures for the tenth month of this year were released by the Nevada Gaming Control Board in its monthly report about casino wins and percentage of tax collected by the state. The report, which regularly states the monthly gaming wins of casinos in Nevada, revealed that the total gaming wins in Nevada had decreased by 2.58 percent, putting an end to the two-month run of increased revenues for casinos. Las Vegas Strip casinos alone reported a fall in revenue by 5.06 percent.

Las Vegas Casinos Take the Fall

Casinos across Las Vegas, especially on the Las Vegas strip, performed very well in September, registering high gaming wins. That trend failed to continue in October, as the winnings registered by Strip casinos amounted to just $551 million, a decline of 5.06% from last year. Revenue from casinos in downtown Las Vegas also decreased by 3 percent to $47 million. In Reno, the fall was restricted to 1 percent, as casinos registered gaming wins of $43 million. The biggest hit was for South Lake Tahoe, which reported a drop of 23 percent in gaming wins, to just 12 million in October.

Even as the casinos reported a drop in their revenues, the Nevada state has reportedly collected higher amount of taxes during the month. The casinos collected $954 million in wins, declining by more than 2 percent, and the tax collected on gambling wins went up by 11.9 percent from the same month last year, to $61 million. Overall, the gaming wins collected by Strip casinos, for the first ten months of the year, have gone up by 2.4 percent from last year.

Baccarat and Football Betting Save the Day

Casino action was dull and tepid during October, but what really shined was football betting, according to the report. People bet huge amounts of money on football, which had actually helped in curbing the percentage of decrease in revenues for the month. October would have also been a significantly weaker month, if not for baccarat, which also played a significant role in increasing casino revenues over the past couple of months.

Revenues from baccarat tables reached $151 million, increasing by 16.5 percent over last year and total wagers placed on the game also went up by 28.7 percent, to more than a billion dollars. What seemed unachievable a few decades ago has become reality today – baccarat revenues constitute more than 25% of the total gaming revenues of Strip casinos. Slot machines continued their poor performance from the past few months and registered a decline of 10.9 percent in revenue. Total wagering on slots also fell by 2.4 percent, to $3.3 billion.

According to Michael Lawton, a senior research analyst at the Nevada Gaming Control Board, the fact that September month-end was a weekend and the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week convention got pushed entirely into November resulted in decline of amounts wagered on slot machines, and therefore on the total slot gaming wins registered by the casinos. While decline is bad for casinos, it certainly was a good one for players, who got paid off better. Roulette wins, as usual remained sluggish.

Industry Analysts Hopeful about 2014

Casinos are on the track to total recovery, says Steven Wieczynsk, a gaming analyst at Stifel Nicolaus Capital Markets. He is also hopeful of a fruitful 2014, which will see an impressive lineup of conventions and other events drawing huge crowds to the casinos during the year.

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