by Geoff Dornan

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August 6, 2013
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Stateline casinos end year on sour note

Until figures came in for June, Stateline gaming looked like it was going to have a pretty good year. But a 25 percent drop in the final month of the year took a big bite out of the win.

The clubs pulled in $12.5 million in winnings, down from $16.5 million in 2012. They finished the fiscal year up just 2.63 percent with $211.5 million.

Good news for Tahoe casinos is that this is the second consecutive year of growth after five straight years of decline. But that total is a full 38 percent below South Shore’s peak year in 2004.

The growth at South Shore seems to come from what the monthly gaming report dubs “Other Games” — a euphemism primarily for Baccarat in that market.

The Carson Valley area, which includes the East Fork Township in Douglas County as well as the capital, didn’t fare so well, reporting a decrease of 1.8 percent for the year despite finishing with a 2.3 percent gain to $8.4 million in June.

The total win of $97.8 million for the year is more than 21 percent below the area’s peak of $124.7 million in 2006.

While slot win for the year was off just nine-tenths of a percent, game and table win fell 10.6 percent.

Statewide Nevada casinos reported growth in fiscal 2013 for the second straight year after three consecutive declines.

But total win of $10.9 billion is still 14.4 percent below the peak set in fiscal 2007.

Washoe County had its first positive year since major Indian casinos opened in California nearly a decade ago. Overall, the county was up just four-tenths of a percent, to $741 million.

In Clark County, total win was up 2.1 percent for the year, 3.9 percent on the Strip. But most of the local markets in the south were down a bit, overall about 1.1 percent to $2.1 billion.

With both the men’s and women’s bowling tournaments in town, Reno was up 1.1 percent for the year.

For the year, Churchill County casinos were down just over 1 percent to $20.75 million. One factor is that the area finished the year with 10 non-restricted locations — one less than it started with — helping to drive a 10.5 percent drop in total game and table win. The vast majority of win in Churchill comes from slot play — all but $610,000 in fiscal 2013.

For June, Churchill’s 10 locations reported a 4.3 percent decrease in total win, to $1.65 million.

Statewide, total game and table win grew to $4.1 billion in fiscal 2013, $1.4 billion of which came from the Baccarat tables — 13.6 percent more than the previous fiscal year — on total bets of more than $11.3 billion. Both the volume and win numbers are records for that game.

Because of the exponential growth in Baccarat play, slot win of $6.76 billion generated just 62 percent of the year’s total — the lowest percentage for slots since 1996.

The total amount wagered during fiscal 2013 was $138.3 billion, just 1 percent less than the previous year but well below the peak $170.4 billion wagered in 2007.

Statewide, casinos finished the year with a 4.8 percent decrease, about $40 million, to $792.5 million. The key factor was that June 2012 featured a huge Manny Pacquiao fight and big boxing matches drive high-end Baccarat play. This June by comparison produced $51 million less Baccarat win as not only the amount bet but the hold percentage were off significantly.

Without Baccarat, total win was actually up 1.5 percent in June.

The year produced a couple of interesting trends. Gaming Control Board Analyst Mike Lawton said it was the first time that Roulette win was higher than the total raked in on the craps tables — $376 million to $371 million. Roulette grew 9.6 percent in fiscal 2013 on top of 12.4 percent the year before.

He said the game is drawing a lot of international play, primarily from South America.

In addition, the total amount bet on sports was $3.5 billion, a 13.5 percent increase and a record for the fourth straight year.

“However, we have not had a record-amount win,” Lawton said.

He said the win percentage for sports pools has fallen consistently over the years, and this year’s 4.4 percent is the lowest hold since 1999.

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The Record Courier Updated Aug 6, 2013 04:59PM Published Aug 6, 2013 02:18PM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.