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September gaming win down 5.9 percent statewide, baccarat to blame

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By Sean Whaley, Nevada News Bureau,: Nevada’s gaming win declined 5.9 percent statewide in September over the same month in 2010, with casinos bringing in nearly $54 million less from gamblers, the state Gaming Control Board reported today.

Nevada casinos won nearly $864 million, but nearly every market was down compared to September 2010. Las Vegas Strip casinos brought in $491 million, down 5.7 percent over the same month in the prior year.

One exception was Washoe County, which posted a modest 0.23 percent gain over September 2010.

The report was a disappointment because there were special events in Las Vegas that lured visitors, including a major fight, and the reporting period also had an extra Friday compared to September 2010, said Gaming Control Board analyst Michael Lawton.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. won the Sept. 17 fight against Victor Ortiz at the MGM Grand.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority today reported visitor volume increased 5.5 percent in September to 3.29 million. It was the 19th consecutive month of visitor increases.

As usual, baccarat, the card game played by high rollers on the Las Vegas Strip, played a major role in the monthly gaming revenue report.

Despite being the third best September ever for baccarat win at $81.9 million, revenues were down 36.2 percent over September 2010.

“Historically that is a very strong September,” Lawton said of the baccarat win.

Without baccarat factored in, the state win was down only 0.95 percent in September, he said.

Another hit on the monthly revenues came in the sports books, which brought in $20.1 million, down 44.2 percent from September 2010.

For the first three months of the 2011-2012 fiscal year that began July 1, gaming revenues statewide total $2.6 billion, 3.1 percent below the same period in the previous fiscal year.

Gaming tax collections total $199.5 million so far this year, 5.5 percent below the $211 million collected in the same period last fiscal year.

Audio clips:

Nevada gaming analyst Michael Lawton says baccarat was down 36.2 percent:

110911Lawton1 :09 or $46.4 million.”

Lawton says baccarat played a role in the disappointing September revenue report:

110911Lawton2 :11 down $53.8 million.”

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