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After recent gains, Strip casino winnings down in April

Updated Wednesday, June 9, 2010 | 9:48 a.m.

CARSON CITY – After two consecutive months of gains, the gambling win at casinos on the Las Vegas Strip fell slightly in April, but baccarat play and roulette registered strong increases.

The state Gaming Control Board reported today the 41 casinos on the Strip won $437.2 million, off 0.93 percent compared to April 2009 when the win dropped by 15.8 percent.

Statewide, the 329 casinos won $810.4 million, down 5.7 percent from a year ago. It was the second-lowest month in the past year. Only October 2009, with an $800.4 million win, was lower.

April is traditionally a “soft month,” says Frank Streshley, chief of tax and licensing for the board. Casinos don’t schedule a lot of events around Easter, he said. But it was “softer than expected,” he added.

Every area in Clark County, except Mesquite, reported a decline in gross win, computed before taxes and business expenses. The casinos in Mesquite reported win at $10.9 million, up 1.6 percent and ending 14 straight months of declines.

The state collected $39.7 million in taxes, a 23.3 percent decline. So far this year, the tax collections on the gaming win are down 5.2 percent.

The board reported gaming win in downtown Las Vegas fell 9.1 percent, the 23rd consecutive month of a decline.

North Las Vegas casinos posted an 11.9 percent decline in gaming win. Laughlin was off 5.3 percent and the win on the Boulder Strip fell 25.5 percent. Casinos in the rest of Clark County suffered a 12.9 percent decrease.

On the Strip, casinos lost $1.56 million on the sports pool. Streshley said bettors collected on their winning tickets from the NCAA championship basketball tournament.

The board reported Strip casinos posted a 10.6 percent increase in baccarat win and roulette was up 16.2 percent. The win from Blackjack increased 7.2 percent but craps was off 3.8 percent. The slot machine win fell 5.1 percent.

Streshley said there are signs of recovery in the tourist markets but it's not extending to areas that depend on locals gaming. He noted high rates of unemployment and a continued softening of the housing mark.

Statewide, the only two markets that posted gaming win increases were Carson City, up 5.3 percent, and Wendover, showing a slight 0.45 percent gain.

Washoe County casinos, after two months of increases, had a 1.7 percent decline. South Lake Tahoe casinos were off 20.7 percent and Elko casinos fell 0.05 percent.

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