Nevada casinos win big in ‘06

From the Associated Press

Gamblers bet a record $170 billion in Nevada casinos during 2006, and the clubs set another record by winning $12.6 billion of the total, according to a state report released Friday.

A breakdown of the win shows that the Las Vegas Strip accounted for $6.7 billion of the total. That’s also a record -- but it wasn’t enough to fend off booming Macao, the Chinese territory that apparently eclipsed the Strip for the first time with 2006 gambling revenue of $7 billion.

“Macao probably has surpassed the Las Vegas Strip gaming win,” state Gaming Control Board analyst Frank Streshley said in releasing the Nevada report. “But there’s a lot of uncertainty because the computation of their gaming win may not be the same as ours. It may not be a true apples-to-apples comparison.”

Macao aside, Streshley said, the Nevada figures showed that even with some softening in the second half of 2006 the state’s casinos showed 8.3% growth over their 2005 win. He added that 2006 ended with a $1.1-billion win in December, up 17% over December 2005.

The win is what was left in casino coffers from the $170 billion in bets during 2006. That means the clubs held on to 7.4% of all money wagered.


Win is a gross figure, with no operating costs or other expenses deducted. And it is casino revenue only -- separate from hotel, restaurant or bar revenues generated by the resorts.

The Las Vegas Strip win of $6.7 billion was up 10.9% over the 2005 win. For all of Clark County, encompassing the Strip, downtown Las Vegas and other southern Nevada cities, the total was $10.6 billion, up 9.5%.

Throughout the state, a breakdown shows record wins for all major markets except for downtown Las Vegas, casinos on Lake Tahoe’s south shore and the Minden-Gardnerville-Carson City area.

Downtown Las Vegas won $630.4 million, down 3.6%, while the south Tahoe resorts won $333.7 million, down 0.5%. The Minden-Gardnerville-Carson City win of $124.3 million was down 0.3%. Although slight, that’s the first decline in 13 years.

Resorts in the Reno-Sparks-North Tahoe area in northern Nevada took in nearly $1.1 billion. That included $767.7 million for Reno, up 1.7%. Clubs in Elko County, on the state’s border with Utah, won $272.2 million, up 5.3%.

The $12.6-billion statewide win included a record $8.3 billion from slot machines, up 6.9% from 2005, and a record $4.2 billion from table games, up 11.1%.

A breakdown of games that produced the most revenue in 2006 shows the clubs won $1.38 billion on blackjack, $463.4 million on craps and $835.8 million from baccarat.

In slots, multi-denomination devices won $3.5 billion of the total. Dollar slots won $1 billion, quarter slots won $1.3 billion, and penny slots won $1.3 billion.

Sports betting produced $191.5 million in winnings, up 52%. Poker winnings totaled $160.9 million, up 14.8%.

For the current fiscal year to date, the state’s revenue from gambling totaled $443.6 million, 1.6% below forecast. That included $51.1 million in taxes based on the December casino win, which was up 11.6% from forecast amounts.