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August gaming win surges 21 percent on Las Vegas Strip

Updated Friday, Oct. 8, 2010 | 10:02 a.m.

CARSON CITY – Strong baccarat play and a rebound in the slot machine business helped casinos on the Las Vegas Strip post a 21-percent increase in gross gaming win for August.

The state Gaming Control Board reported today that, statewide, casinos registered a gross win of $994.4 million, up 11.5 percent. The increase was fueled by increases in Southern Nevada.

The increase of 21 percent by the 41 casinos on the Strip, at $544.3 million, was the biggest gain since February, when the gaming win rose 32.8 percent.

Baccarat win on the Strip rose to $160 million, up 47.1 percent.

Michael Lawton, senior research analyst for the board, said it was the second highest win for baccarat in Strip history. The amount wagered was $1.9 billion, the highest drop of all time.

Gross win, computed before taxes and expenses on slot machines, jumped to $245.9 million, a gain of 13.3 percent. That’s the biggest increase since September 2007. Lawton said the amount played in slot machines was $3.1 billion.

Blackjack games on the Strip were off 12.1 percent compared to a year ago, but craps rose 84.3 percent and roulette gained 77.7 percent. The win from sports books jumped 155.5 percent due to baseball betting,

Lawton said business in Clark County was helped by the MAGIC Convention with 75,000 visitors and the World Market Convention at 50,000 members.

Downtown Las Vegas casinos reported a win of $41.3 million, down 1.4 percent. It was the 27th straight month for a drop in gross win.

North Las Vegas clubs posted $25.1 million, up 13.6 percent; Laughlin casinos fell to $36.3 million, a decline of 4.7 percent; the Boulder Strip posted a 3.3 percent increase to $65.4 million; Mesquite dropped 2.7 percent to $8.2 million and the rest of Clark County reported $85.1 million, up 0.8 percent.

Statewide, the board said it collected $61.7 million in taxes, a 24.4 percent increase from the prior year. Lawton said that was due to a good collection on markers.

Also statewide, Lawton said gross win was up 6.2 percent without counting baccarat. That’s the first time since December 2007 that an increase was recorded without the baccarat figures.

The board said Washoe County casinos won $71.5 million, down 3.1 percent; South Lake Tahoe casinos reported a 7.2 percent increase to $23.5 million; Elko gaming business was down 1.9 percent to $21.7 million and the Carson Valley posted a 7.7 percent gain to $9.3 million.

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