Boosted by rebate checks, gaming win sets record in October

Boosted by thousands of rebate checks cashed in casinos, Nevada gamblers raked in a record $1.06 billion in October.

Gaming Control Board analyst Frank Streshley said that is an all-time monthly record win for Nevada casinos, passing the May record of $1.033 billion and the 15th straight month of growth for the industry. It is also just the fourth time in state history total win has exceeded $1 billion.

Streshley said good weather in the north and some first-class events in the south helped the totals. But he said the totals were also helped by the number of Nevadans who chose to cash their tax rebate checks at the casinos.

"Operators said noticeably people were cashing those checks," he said.

Streshley said the revenue showed up "across the board from Carson City to Elko and in the locals markets in Las Vegas."

Statewide win for October jumped 14.4 percent over the same month last year. And October 2004 was 12.9 percent higher than October 2003.

Streshley said a record $11.8 billion was wagered on slots during the month and a record $2.8 billion on table games.

The Carson Valley Area, which includes valley portions of Douglas County as well as the capital, reported $11.3 million in winnings - an 11.96 percent increase over the previous October. That is on top of an 11.7 percent increase last October. The area has had only one negative month - August - in the past 31 months.

The key was slot machines, which brought in 13.6 percent more revenue, more than offsetting the 3.9 percent decrease in win from table games in the Carson Valley area.

That is in contrast to the statewide numbers where table game winnings were up 8 percent, carried by an 11.7 percent increase in Baccarat winnings - $63.8 million.

Sports book revenues were up 26.7 percent and poker win up 31.8 percent for the month.

South Lake Tahoe reported a 27.25 percent increase for the month to $28.45 million, more than offsetting September's 14 percent drop.

And Washoe County, after more than two years of suffering caused by bad weather and, primarily, American Indian casinos siphoning off customers between the Bay area and Reno, recorded its fifth straight month of improvement in October. Total win in the county was $85.4 million, a 3.52 percent increase.

Leading the way in Washoe was North Lake Tahoe, with a 6.94 percent increase to $3.4 million.

The bulk of October's winnings came from slots and other electronic games, which increased 17.7 percent statewide. But Streshley said that can be slightly misleading because September ended on a Friday and a chunk of that month's slot win wasn't counted by casinos until the following Monday. That means those revenues were added to the October totals, boosting them by several percentage points.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.


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