Gaming win fell 3 percent to $984.5 million in January, ending a streak of four consecutive increases.
The culprit was three-fold, all in game and table play.
Gaming Control Board Analyst Mike Lawton said the big hit was on Baccarat which generated just $95.9 million, down $17 million or 15.1 percent. The driver there was volume of play which was down 21.7 percent to just $559.7 million, a $154.7 million decrease. Without Baccarat the statewide win would have fallen just 1 percent.
In addition, “21” win was just $90.2 million, also down 15.1 percent because hold fell a full percentage point to 13.74 percent
Finally, Lawton said sports pools statewide won just $14.6 million. That is a 41.7 percent, $10.5 million decrease from January 2018. Again the problem was hold which fell from 6 percent to just 2.9 percent. He said the primary culprit was basketball which won just $5.9 million, $9.6 million less than a year ago.
The Carson Valley, which includes valley portions of Douglas County as well as the capital, managed to escape the damage suffered in other reporting areas, recording a 9 percent, $725,000 increase to $8.8 million. Lawton said that is impressive considering the area was facing a difficult comparison — a 7.1 percent increase a year ago.
That is Carson’s 20th consecutive monthly increase.
The reason for the increase was a 10.5 percent, $798,000 increase in slot win.
Game and Table win was actually down 14 percent in Carson but table games make up a small percentage of total win in Carson. Lawton said that category was facing a 45.8 percent increase last January.
Carson’s sports pool, however, didn’t escape. Win there was down 86 percent in January despite the fact total wagers were up slightly. The hold percentage was just 2.4 percent compared to 17.3 percent a year ago.
South Shore casinos at Lake Tahoe totaled just 16.9 percent, a 14 percent, $2.7 million decrease. The area faced a difficult comparison since win was up 14.8 percent a year ago. Slot win fell 7.3 percent or $1 million. Game and table win at the lake was down 29.7 percent or $1.7 million. The problem was the percentage of wagers the clubs held. Slot hold was 7.5 percent instead of 8.5 percent in 2018 and games hold fell from 16.1 percent to 10.9 percent.
Again, sports pools had a terrible month at Tahoe, down 71.3 percent or $531,000 on hold of 3.8 percent compared to 12.7 percent last January.
North Shore casinos at Crystal Bay reported a total $1.7 million win. That is an increase of 2.5 percent or $43,000. The increase was carried by slot win that was up 5.3 percent or $65,000.
Washoe County was saved by the return of the Safari Club convention that helped increase visitation by 4.4 percent in January. That is the first time Safari Club has been in Reno since 2013. Total win was $60.7 million, a slight overall increase of $24,000 or four-tenths of a percent. Washoe has only had two negative months in the past 18 months.
Churchill County reported $1.73 million in gaming win for January. That is just shy of a half-percent more than the previous January. The Game and Table win there was down by 24 percent to just $31,000 and, as in nearly all other markets, the sports pool was down — 38.4 percent to $9,000.
While table games are just a tiny piece of the pie in Churchill, those negatives were enough to cut the 1.42 percent increase in slot winnings by two-thirds.