North Tahoe casinos suffer big losses in January; Nevada as a whole up 12% | SierraSun.com

North Tahoe casinos suffer big losses in January; Nevada as a whole up 12%

Geoff Dornan
gdornan@nevadaappeal.com

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Gaming win in Nevada jumped 12 percent in January, totaling more than $1 billion for just the second time this fiscal year.

The total $1.036 billion is $111.2 million more than the same month last year despite having two fewer weekend days.

Gaming Control Board Analyst Mike Lawton said one key to the gain was the fact Chinese New Year was in January this year instead of February as it was last year.

As a result, Game and Table win increased 16.1 percent or $55.8 million this January for $401.8 million.

A large part of that increase was the 55 percent increase in Baccarat win, a total of $157.9 million. That is the first monthly increase in Baccarat win since July and only the fifth in the past 25 months.

The gains were pretty much concentrated in Southern Nevada on the Las Vegas Strip, which saw a 14.4 percent increase in win. Other markets including Washoe County and the Carson Valley area, which includes valley portions of Douglas County, didn’t fare as well.

Lawton said in addition to the two fewer weekend days, sports pools suffered in January as football bettors beat the books in end-of-season college and NFL playoff games resulting in actual losses. Finally, in the north, he said the weather played a role in reducing play and, therefore, win.

South Shore casinos at Lake Tahoe had a good month, increasing 10.8 percent to $17.1 million. The area was up against a difficult comparison since January last year was up 9.2 percent from the year before that.

Slot win was actually down $420,000. But Table games win increased 37.2 percent. In that category, “21” win was up 178 percent primarily on “hold.” The casinos kept more than 28 percent of every dollar bet on that game, about double the normal hold.

North Shore Casinos at Crystal Bay suffered a 29.9 percent decrease to $1.7 million. The area was up against a difficult comparison since win increased more than 22 percent last year.

Slot win was down $106,000 but the big hit was $372,000 loss by sports pools and a $196,000 loss to football bettors. Altogether, North Shore casinos were down $730,000 from the same month last year.

Aside from going against big numbers a year ago, the aforementioned weather likely didn’t help North Tahoe casinos.

A few major winter storms in January cut power across the North Lake Tahoe region for days, and travel was severely impacted by several-day road closures to main highways like Interstate 80 and U.S. Highway 50.

Washoe County also had a bad month, falling a bit more than 7 percent to $54.6 million. It was Washoe’s first decrease since May ending seven consecutive increases.

“The weather did not help,” said Lawton. “The calendar didn’t as well, football betting either.”

The Carson City area finished the month at $7.55 million, a half-percent, or $37,000 down from a year ago.

Churchill County casinos reported an increase for the month but only by a quarter percent. Total win for the month was $1.566 million.

Statewide sports pool win fell 60 percent to $7.9 million. Across all counties, football cost the books $8.3 million.

Slot win was $634.5 million in January, a 9.6 percent or $55.4 million increase, the eighth increase in nine months. Game and Table win was $2.7 billion, an increase of $200.5 million.

Geoff Dornan is a reporter for the Nevada Appeal, a sister newspaper of the Sierra Sun’s and North Lake Tahoe Bonanza’s based out of Carson City.