August Gaming Win Down 6.1 Percent But Not A Big Disappointment, Analyst Says

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s gaming win declined 6.1 percent statewide in August over August 2010, but the downturn is not as significant as it might appear, a Gaming Control Board analyst said today.

Nevada’s casinos won $886.9 million in August, nearly $58 million less than the same month last year, said state gaming analyst Michael Lawton.

Slot machine / Photo by Jeff Kubina @ Wikimedia Commons

But that decline is almost entirely attributable to baccarat, the card game played by high rollers primarily on the Las Vegas Strip, he said. August of 2010 saw the second highest baccarat win ever recorded at $160.5 million.

The win this August was the third highest August win for the game at $96.4 million, but just could not compare to August of 2010, he said.

The Strip overall was down 8.7 percent with $496.9 million in revenues.

“It wasn’t that this month was necessarily bad, it was just last August was such an anomaly, we don’t expect to see that kind of baccarat play during the month of August,” Lawton said. “We’re not too terribly disappointed.”

When baccarat is backed out of the report, the gaming win statewide was up 0.8 percent in August, he said.

The decline came even as the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported a 2.8 percent increase in visitor volume in August to 3,290,473. Lawton said visitor volume is increasing but gambling budgets are smaller.

Looking forward, the expectation is for some better results in the September through November period, he said. There have already been some big events in Las Vegas in this period, and the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez fight scheduled for Nov. 12 at the MGM Grand should bring in a lot of visitors, Lawton said.

Most regional markets were down in August, with the exceptions being the Boulder Strip, which saw a 3.3 percent gain, and South Lake Tahoe, which was up by double-digits to 16.2 percent.

“They’ve had a great summer,” Lawton said of the South Lake Tahoe market. “They are actually, calendar year-to-date, they are up 0.3 percent after the summer months. And they did not have an easy comp. They were going up against a 7.2 percent increase last August.”


Audio clips:

Gaming Control Board analyst Michael Lawton says the August report is not a big disappointment:

101211Lawton1 :08 month of August.”

Lawton says the South Lake Tahoe market is having a great summer:

101211Lawton2 :15 increase last August.”