Stateline casinos see increase in gaming take |

Stateline casinos see increase in gaming take

by Geoff Dornan
R-C Capital Bureau

Stateline’s casinos saw rare back-to-back increases in gaming win in August, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Douglas County’s main source for gaming taxes saw an increase of 16.2 percent increase to $27.2 million. On the heels of July’s 25.4 percent increase, that puts the Stateline casinos up for the calendar year – the first time in several years.

Four of the past five months have seen double digit increases in South Tahoe.

While slot win was up only 3.1 percent, game and table win jumped 74 percent – mostly because of a 200 percent increase in win from the 21 tables. The reason had less to do with the total amount wagered than a near doubling of the percentage casinos kept to 20 percent.

Gaming Control Board analyst Mike Lawton said August was up against a tough comparison since August 2010 was an 18.5 percent increase in Stateline.

The rest of Douglas County, which reports along with the Capital saw a 5.9 percent decrease to $8.78 million – a difference of $552,000. Slot win and the amount wagered were both down.

Statewide, after three straight months of increases, gaming win fell 6.1 percent in August and the reason was Baccarat.

The total $886.8 million in win was $57.6 million less than the previous August – $47.5 million of which was because of reduced Baccarat win on the Las Vegas Strip. The Strip was down 8.7 percent in August to $496.8 million. It wasn’t that August’s Baccarat numbers were bad. It’s that they were comparing to August 2010. That month had the second highest Baccarat win in state history – $160.5 million.

This past August had a much more normal Baccarat win of $96.4 million.

“Without Baccarat, it was basically flat,” he said.

North Shore casinos at Crystal Bay saw just the opposite happen as game and table hold percentages dropped from more than 17 percent to just 12 percent. The result was an 18.9 percent decline in total win to $2.7 million.

Churchill County had a good month, reporting an 8.38 percent increase in total win to $1.72 million. Slot win, which accounted for $1.66 million of that, was up 9.26 percent. Game win was down 18 percent to more than $44,000.

Washoe County suffered a 9.5 percent decrease in total win, mostly because of the 11 percent drop in Reno. The total for the county was $64.7 million. Reno’s share was $46.7 million of that.

“Reno got killed at the tables,” said Lawton pointing to a 29 percent decrease in game and table win.

After Stateline and tiny Churchill County, the only reporting areas that were up compared to August 2010 were the Boulder Strip, which reported a 3.28 percent increase to $67.6 million and the catchall “other,” up to 3.65 percent with $12.6 million.