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March 18, 2019

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Nevada gambling revenue decreases 3 percent in January

Blackjack

Updated Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019 | 7:09 p.m.

Casinos across Nevada saw their revenues drop in January, when they collectively won from gamblers $984.6 million.

Data released Thursday by the Nevada Gaming Control Board show statewide gambling revenue decreased 3 percent compared with January 2018, when it topped $1 billion. The change was driven by sportsbooks, baccarat and blackjack.

Statewide gambling revenue for the current fiscal year has increased 1.1 percent. All the major markets monitored by the board have seen revenue increases, except for the Las Vegas Strip, which has experienced a 0.9 percent drop.

Board senior analyst Michael Lawton said regulators are monitoring the Strip's revenue closely.

"Everything is kind of being disrupted by baccarat," Lawton said. "The overall picture of what we're seeing is the baccarat hold percentage is kind of holding us back or disrupting those other positive trends that we are seeing, for example, slot (machine) win is up fiscal year to date 4 percent and has increased five consecutive times."

Last month, statewide revenue from baccarat was $95.9 million, down 15.1 percent compared with the same month last year. Casinos raked in $90.2 million from the card game of 21, down 15.1 percent, and $14.6 million from sportsbooks, also down 41.7 percent.

Las Vegas Strip gambling revenues were down 4.1 percent last month to about $532.3 million, while downtown Las Vegas revenues dropped 7.8 percent to $52.1 million.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, which is responsible for promoting the destination, on Thursday reported more than 3.4 million people visited Sin City last month. That's a 2.1 percent increase over the year. Attendance at conventions was up 11.5 percent to over 683,000 people.

The agency also reported the average daily room rate in the destination in January increased 6.9 percent to $160.89. The citywide occupancy increased 1.7 percentage points to 85.5 percent.

Meanwhile, in northern Nevada, Reno casinos won about $44.2 million, down 1.1 percent over the year.

The state benefited with more than $89 million in percentage fees based on the taxable revenues generated in January. That's up more than 30 percent from a year earlier.