Nevada gaming win tops $1 billion again, Washoe Co. sees big gains
CARSON CITY, Nev. — Statewide gaming win was more than $1 billion in May, the fourth time total win has passed that mark in the last five months.
Gaming Control Board analyst Mike Lawton said that’s the best start to a calendar year since 2008.
The $1,044,079,556 win amounts to a 5.29 percent increase over May 2017 and Lawton said is the largest total reported by casinos since February 2013.
The numbers were even better in the Carson Valley area, which includes valley parts of Douglas County as well as the capital. A huge spike in blackjack play drove a 15.58 percent increase in Carson as casinos raked in more than $9.9 million in May.
Game and Table win in Carson was up 100 percent, or $474,000, on volume of play that increased 48 percent. Blackjack win was double what it was a year ago as the casinos held a 36.8 percent of the amount wagered. That’s better than double normal. Since there were no real events to explain the increase, Lawton said that has to be considered an anomaly.
It was also an easy comparison since May 2017 win was down 1 percent in Carson. The capital has now recorded 12 consecutive increases.
Washoe County reported total win of $73.1 million, a 7.1 percent increase and that area’s 13th consecutive monthly increase. The win was driven by slot play — up 8.6 percent.
Within Washoe, North Shore casinos at Lake Tahoe reported $1.9 million in win, an increase of 25.1 percent over May 2017. It was a strong month across the board at Crystal Bay/Incline Village. Slot win rose 15.2 percent and table game play — again primarily blackjack — 68.8 percent.
Overall the volume of play was up by 30 percent in that market. For the calendar year, North Shore is up 6.5 percent and Washoe County as a whole is up 5.4 percent.
South Shore casinos at Stateline reported an increase of just 1.1 percent to a hair over $18 million. But those casinos faced a tough comparison since May 2017 win was up more than 30 percent. For the calendar year, South Tahoe is up 8.9 percent.
Of the 20 reporting areas in the state, only two were down in May. Downtown Las Vegas was off 3.5 percent and the Boulder Strip by two-tenths of a percent.
Year-to-date, the state is up 4.2 percent and Lawton said all markets are positive at this point.
In May, table games increased 8.6 percent or $373.9 million statewide. The driver behind that is the 19.8 percent increase in Baccarat where win totaled $120.8 million. Volume of play was actually down but the hold percentage was up three points to more than 16 percent.
The other driver was sports pool win of $20.5 million, up nearly 600 percent from a year ago. Basketball accounted for $9.3 million of that total and baseball $10.8 million
Slot win totaled $672.2 million in May, a 3.6 percent increase or $23 million. Slot win has seen only one decrease in the past 12 months and the increases are primarily due to continually rising volumes of play. The total amount wagered in May was $9.5 billion, up $233.3 million from a year ago.
Lawton said that’s clear evidence the industry is continuing to recover and regular players are returning in ever greater numbers to Nevada’s casinos.
June collections closing out the fiscal year totaled $69 million. Gaming percentage fee collections for fiscal 2018 were reported as $683.9 million but that’s after $74.2 million in transferrable tax credits were removed from the total.
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