Gaming revenue down in Carson Valley

The 14 casinos in Carson Valley and Carson City posted a net loss of $7.5 million for the year, the second time they have finished in the red in three years.

According to Gaming Control Board analyst Frank Streshley, there were several factors, including a 3.2 percent decline in total revenues combined with an increase of nearly 12 percent in total general and administrative expenses. Depreciation was actually up 28.8 million according to the 2007 Nevada Gaming Abstract, which was issued Thursday.

Gaming revenues were off 0.5 percent from $120.2 million to $119.6 million, room revenues were flat and beverage sales up a bit. At the same time, "other revenues" dropped sharply from $15.5 million to $8.5 million.

The result was $72.2 million in net income and $79.7 million in expenses from total revenues of $178.2 million.

The $7.5 million loss compares with a $5.1 million positive net income in 2006. In calendar year 2005, the Carson Valley casinos reported a loss of $1.3 million.

While the four major casinos in Stateline reported a profit, the amount was just over half their net income in 2006 - $26.5 million compared with $46.1 million.

Of the $20 million reduction in total revenue at those casinos, $15.8 million was directly from gaming revenues.

Specifics for North Shore casinos in the Tahoe Basin are not broken out in the Washoe County portion of the report and, therefore, not available.

But in Washoe County, the 35 casinos with more than $1 million in winnings a year reported net income of $132.3 million from $1.9 billion total revenues.

Streshley said that is the highest net for Washoe casinos in 12 years. But he said they made that net by cutting expenses. While total revenues were down two-tenths of a percent, general and administrative expenses were down $18.9 million - just under 3 percent.

In Elko County, the mining boom continues fueled by record gold prices around $900 an ounce. The 17 casinos in that area reported total revenues up 14.4 percent and gaming revenues up 11.4 percent.

Net income for those properties was $39.8 million compared with $36.8 million in 2006.

According to the abstract, the 270 casinos reporting statewide posted a record net income of $2.3 billion - up 8.9 percent from 2006, and a record total revenues from all departments of $25.3 billion. That translates to a 9.1 percent net.

The abstract is issued each calendar year and reports not only gaming revenues but room, food, beverage and other revenues and income for casinos around the state.

It also lists room-rate occupancy, average numbers of employees and such statistics as gaming revenue per square foot of casino floor. But to protect the proprietary business information of casino owners, the data is listed by geographic area and in a way that deliberately prevents discovering a specific casino's figures.

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