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Nevada gaming revenue down 2.3 percent in November

Lucky Dragon Official Opening

Yasmina Chavez

A gambler plays blackjack during Lucky Dragons grand opening celebration, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016.

Updated Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017 | 9:20 a.m.

Nevada’s November gaming revenue dropped by 2.3 percent — $909,007,025 compared to $930,405,599 for November 2016 — for nonrestricted locations, the Nevada Gaming Control Board reported today.

Nonrestricted locations are casinos with 15 or more slot and/or video poker machines (and often table games). The board also tracks revenue for individual areas around the state and there, November’s numbers compared to the same month in 2016 were largely positive. Most Southern Nevada casinos saw increases, with the exception of the Strip, where revenue was down 6.04 percent in November compared to November last year.

“If you factor out the Strip, the state would have been up,” said Michael Lawton, senior research analyst with the Tax and License Division of the Gaming Control Board.

Strip revenue dropped, Lawton said, because gamblers did well at the tables.

“The table game win decreased this month,” Lawton said. “It was $215.6 million, which is 16.8 percent, or $43.5 million, less than last year.”

Specifically, Lawton said, baccarat on the Strip had issues.

The Strip’s November 2017 baccarat win was $63.2 million, a drop of 25 percent from last year. Lawton said the volume (the total amount bet) of $630 million was an increase of $3.3 million, or 2.2 percent more than last year. But gamblers were lucky and the hold percentage (the amount the casinos keep) was 10.03 percent this year versus 13.65 percent last November.

Lawton said blackjack on the Strip had similar issues. The hold on blackjack was down by 14.5 percent (again compared to November last year) or $10.7 million. But volume for blackjack was also down by 2.6 percent, or $13.3 million.

“Another big factor was sports pools,” Lawton said. “The win total was $2.7 million, and that’s down 74.4 percent or $7.9 million” from last November.

Lawton said the overall amount of money bet in sports pools on the Strip was down 2.2 percent, or $5.4 million, and the hold was only 1.03 percent this year versus 3.98 percent for November 2016.

“The major decrease came from baseball,” he said. “Baseball betting on the Strip lost $6.1 million.”

For the rest of Southern Nevada, the numbers were good. In the same 2017 to 2016 comparison, November revenue in downtown Las Vegas was up 6.82 percent, North Las Vegas revenue rose 2.56 percent, and Laughlin’s revenue was up 4.93 percent. On the Boulder Strip, revenue rose .08 percent, and in Mesquite, revenue was up 8.78 percent.

In the rest of Nevada, when comparing November 2017 to November 2016, revenue numbers were mixed.

Revenue for Reno dropped by .08 percent and was flat in Sparks. North Lake Tahoe revenue grew by 18.9 percent, and in the rest of Washoe County, revenue was up 21.48 percent.

In South Lake Tahoe, revenue dropped a little — 2.92 percent — but in Elko County, it was up 11.84 percent this November compared to last. Carson Valley area revenue increased 10.83 percent. The Carson Valley revenue numbers are for casinos in Carson City, Gardnerville, Minden and all other areas of Douglas County, except South Lake Tahoe.

In December, based okn November’s gaming revenue, Nevada received $49,437,413 in gaming taxes and fees, a drop of 11.1 percent ($6,171,287) compared to December 2016, when the number was $55,608,700.

In a news release announcing the statistics, the board explained that the fee collections were through Dec. 26 and didn’t include $9,126,265 in tax credits used by gaming companies in December or the total amount of tax credits taken fiscal year to date of $39,872,133.

You can read the abbreviated release of the board’s November’s revenue report here and the full gaming revenue report for November here.