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April 19, 2019

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Nevada’s largest casinos report $1.2 billion loss in fiscal 2018

Strip at Night

Wade Vandervort

A view of Las Vegas Blvd on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017.

Updated Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019 | 3:19 p.m.

Nevada's largest casinos lost $1.2 billion during the fiscal year that ended June 30 despite seeing record revenues, bringing to an end a two-year streak of posted profits.

A comprehensive annual report from state gambling regulators released today shows the 289 casinos reported the net loss from revenue of $27.1 billion. The loss was driven by expenses associated with the reorganization of Caesars Entertainment after emerging from bankruptcy.

The total revenue figure includes money patrons spent on gambling, hotel rooms, food, drinks and other sources. The 3.6 percent revenue growth compared with the previous fiscal year marks the eighth consecutive reported increase.

"There was a large company this fiscal year which experienced a very large amount of reorganization expenses due to their exit from bankruptcy," Michael Lawton, senior analyst with Nevada Gaming Control Board, said. "The good news is those are one-time charges, they are not recurring expenses. So if things keep going as they are, we shouldn't see such a substantial net loss recorded next fiscal year."

Caesars emerged from an $18 billion bankruptcy in late 2017.

The report known as the Gaming Abstract includes data about Nevada casinos that grossed $1 million or more in gambling revenue. It includes wide-ranging information, from average number of employees by department to gambling revenue per square foot of casino space.

Revenue from gambling activities increased last year to $11.6 billion, accounting for 42.8 percent of the total. Gambling revenue has increased in seven of the last eight years, but it hasn't been enough to get casinos to the levels before the Great Recession.

"We are down to just 7.1 percent below peak levels, which were recorded in '07," Lawton said. Casinos posted a record $12.5 billion in gambling revenue that fiscal year.

The report released Wednesday found that 76.2 percent of the gambling revenue came from 61 casinos owned by publicly traded companies.

The largest 168 casinos in Clark County, which is Nevada's most populous and includes Las Vegas, had a combined net loss of about $1 billion from total revenues of around $24.2 billion. In Washoe County, which includes Reno, 37 casinos combined to gain $97.4 million on revenue of $1.7 billion.

On the Las Vegas Strip, casinos reported combined losses of $1.7 billion and revenue of $18.3 billion. Gambling revenue accounted for 34.3 percent of the Strip's total revenue, making the fiscal year the 20th in a row that gambling revenue has made up less than 50 percent of the overall figure.