North Tahoe casinos see gaming win uptick; South Tahoe down 3 percent | SierraSun.com

North Tahoe casinos see gaming win uptick; South Tahoe down 3 percent

Geoff Dornan
gdornan@nevadaappeal.com

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Statewide gaming win fell 2.85 percent in October, driven down by a nearly 22 percent decrease in Baccarat win.

Total win for the month was $887.58 million, according to recently released figures from the Nevada Gaming Control.

But the decrease didn't hurt Washoe County or Carson area casinos. Both of those reporting areas reported gains for the month.

The Carson Valley area, which includes valley portions of Douglas County as well as the capital, enjoyed an 8.58 percent increase to $8.7 million in total win.

Much of the gain came from a near 71 percent increase in sports book winnings to $245,000. Gaming Control Board analyst Mike Lawton said the Carson Valley area has only had one monthly decrease this calendar year — 2.5 percent in August.

Slot winnings also were up in Carson, accounting for the vast majority ($8 million) of total win.

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Washoe County also had a solid month, reporting a 6.44 percent increase in win to $67.9 million with all four reporting areas up compared to October 2014. The increase comes despite a difficult comparison — the county was up 6.8 percent a year ago.

Lawton said visitation was up 9.6 percent compared to a year ago, bringing increases in betting volume in both slots and table games. For the calendar year, Washoe is now up 3.5 percent.

That includes North Shore casinos at Lake Tahoe, which edged over the $2 million mark for a 2.58 percent increase. Like Carson, the increase was in large part due to sports book action, which increased by 54 percent.

South Shore casinos at Tahoe were a different story. Total win there fell 3 percent to $18.2 million, despite a 122 percent increase in win from the blackjack tables to more than $2.9 million.

The problem was in the "Other Games" category, which, for South Shore, includes Baccarat. This year, unlike October 2014, the high rollers didn't show up. As a result, Other Games win was down 77 percent.

Churchill County also had a dip in win for October. The 10 non-restricted gaming locations there win a total of $1.67 million — a 2.91 percent decrease from a year ago. Game and Table win was actually up a hair over 8 percent, but games win accounted for just $72,000 of the county's total. That increase was more than offset by the 3.38 percent decrease in slot win to $1.59 million.

Baccarat play, nearly all of which is in Clark County, totaled $79.1 million for the month, some $22 million less than the same month last year.

In large part because of the Chinese government's restrictions on their wealthy citizens taking large amounts of cash overseas, Baccarat win has been down some 18 percent this calendar year.

Without Baccarat, total statewide win would have been off by just a half percent on a total of $12.1 billion wagered during October.

Gamblers spent nearly $12.1 billion trying their luck on table games and slot machines during the month, up 1.8 percent compared to a year ago, but casinos kept less of it.

"That's tough to overcome," said Brent Pirosch, a gambling industry analyst with commercial brokerage firm CBRE, referring to the casino hold, essentially what it kept of what was gambled.

Pirosch told the Associated Press said he's still bullish on revenue improving from non-VIP gamblers. He said once baccarat is stripped out of longer-term trends, the year-to-date numbers show a slow but steady picture of improvement.

"I just don't see any reason to be alarmed," he said.

The statistics show state taxes collected on gambling revenue dropped 22 percent to $52.3 million.

By the numbers

October win, percentage change

Statewide: $887.58 million (-2.85%)

Carson Valley: $8.74 million (8.58%)

South Shore: $18.2 million (-3%)

North Shore: $2.0 million (2.58%)

Washoe County: $67.96 million (6.44%)

Reno: $50 million (6.9%)

Clark County: $755.96 million (-4%)

The Strip: $493.6 million (-5.12%)