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Nevada casino win flat in April

By: SANDRA CHEREB
May 28, 2014 Updated: May 28, 2014 at 3:16 pm
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CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Casino winnings from baccarat on the Las Vegas Strip stabilized Nevada gambling revenues in April, when statewide revenues dipped a fraction of a percentage point but would have dropped further if not for the high-roller game, state regulators said Wednesday.

Nevada casinos won $852 million from gamblers in April, down 0.3 percent from the same month last year.

The Las Vegas Strip, home to Nevada's megaresorts and posh casinos, was an exception to an otherwise flat month for casino markets around the state. Las Vegas Strip resorts reported $462.9 million in gambling revenue, up from $448.6 million in April 2013, according to a report by the Gaming Control Board.

Baccarat winnings on the Strip of $90.4 million were up $25.8 million or 40 percent, said Mike Lawton, senior control board analyst. Statewide, baccarat players wagered $648.7 million, an increase of $105.5 million or 19.4 percent. Luck also favored the house, which benefited from a hold percentage of nearly 14 percent, compared with 12 percent in April 2013.

Without baccarat, a high-roller game favored by Asian players, Strip gambling revenues would have dropped 3 percent or $11.5 million, while the statewide revenue total would have fallen 3.5 percent or $27.7 million compared with a year ago.

"Baccarat represents 20 percent of the Strip's win for the month" and a quarter of gambling revenues for the fiscal year that began July 1, Lawton said.

Downtown Las Vegas casinos reported $44 million in gambling revenue, a decline of 2.5 percent.

In northern Nevada, $44.5 million reported by casinos in Reno were down 1.5 percent, while Washoe County as a whole saw a 2.2 percent decline to $58.3 million.

Gambling revenues at casinos in South Lake Tahoe plunged 42 percent from April 2013 to $9 million from $15.7 million. But that decline was mostly driven by timing from the previous year, when revenue from slot machines on the last weekend in March was reported in April, bolstering that month's slot revenue by 17 percent, Lawton said.

Taxes collected on the April statewide revenue totaled $47.9 million, up 1.4 percent from last year.

Online poker offered by three companies in Nevada generated $792,000 in April, a 14.5 percent decrease from March. In the 11 months online poker has been available in Nevada to in-state players, the game has generated $10.2 million in casino winnings.

The "win" is what was left in casino coffers after gamblers wagered $10.8 billion, with $8.6 billion plunked into slot and video machines and $2.2 billion on card and table games.

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