economy: Casinos post record win
Howard Stutz, Las Vegas Gaming Wire
casinos roared to an all-time record gaming win of $12.6 billion
in 2006, fueled by free-spending gamblers frequenting the
Strip's glitzy gambling halls.
revenues, reported Friday by the Gaming Control Board, marked
an overall increase of 8.3 percent compared with the $11.6
billion won by casinos in 2005.
casinos were the state's barometer. The gaming win was almost
$6.7 billion in 2006, a jump of 10.9 percent compared with
$6 billion in 2005.
breakdown of the win shows that the Strip accounted for $6.69
billion of the total. That's a record, but not enough to fend
off Macau, which reported last month that it topped the Strip
for the first time in 2006 with gambling revenue of $6.95
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."
2005 figures were fed by the opening of Wynn Las Vegas in
April of that year. In 2006, no new casinos opened on the
Strip while two properties closed: the Boardwalk in January
and the Stardust on Nov. 1.
Control Board senior research analyst Frank Streshley said
the Strip accounted for 53 percent of the state's total gaming
win. In 1990, he said Strip casinos accounted for 47.3 percent
of the state's overall gaming win.
growth on the Strip really took place in the first half of
the year," Streshley said. "We had a slow couple
months in the summer, but the last two months of the year
gave us very strong numbers."
2006 gaming win was helped by the month of December, in which
casinos statewide won $1.06 billion, a 17.1 percent jump over
the previous year. Strip casinos reported gaming revenues
of almost $610 million, a 23.4 percent increase compared with
$494.1 million a year ago.
trends were very strong in December, which we note was further
buoyed by a solid New Year's Eve weekend," Bear Stearns
gaming analyst Joe Greff said.
said strong table game play during the month helped the Strip
casinos' total. While the annual National Finals Rodeo in
the beginning of the month brought thousands of customers
to Clark County over two weeks, the only nonannual special
event was the Dec. 30 Ultimate Fighting Championship light
heavyweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden between Chuck Lindell
and Tito Ortiz which attracted a sellout crowd of 14,607.
seemed to be a lot of high-end play during that time, coupled
with New Year's Eve," Streshley said.
2006, nine of the 12 months reported a gaming win of more
than $1 billion statewide, including an all-time one-month
record of $1.141 billion in January.
gamblers in 2006 wagered $138 billion on slot machines, 3.8
percent more than in 2005, and $32 billion was bet on table
games and in race and sports books, a 9.8 percent increase.
Out of the combined $170 billion gambled, the casinos' take
statewide was $8.3 billion from slot machines and $4.3 billion
from tables and race and sports wagers.
2006, almost $7.6 billion was wagered on baccarat, a 28.3
percent increase from the previous year. That translated into
a gaming win of $835.8 million for the casinos, a 25.6 percent
increase from 2005.
of the things we noticed was the growth on the games side,
and much of that was due to increased play in baccarat,"
Streshley said. "It seems like the Strip properties are
doing an increased effort to market baccarat play."
remained the most popular table game with $11.2 billion wagered
in 2006, a 6.1 percent increase, that translated into a casino
win of $1.38 billion, a jump of 11.1 percent over 2005.
Bank gaming analyst Bill Lerner said the figures show the
value-oriented customers are returning to Nevada casinos after
staying on the sidelines for several months, worried about
high fuel costs and soaring interest rates.
think that's behind us and those customers are what have accounted
for the increases in visitor volume and the busy airport,"
Lerner said. "Gaming revenues on the Strip suggest continued
strong health. A limited supply pipeline over the next few
years should lead to a favorable operating environment going
a whole, Clark County reported a gaming win of $10.6 billion
in 2006, a 9.5 percent increase compared with $9.7 billion
in 2005. Streshley said Clark County accounted for 84.3 percent
of statewide gaming revenues, a figure that has steadily grown
since 1990 when the county made up 74.8 percent of the state's
Clark County, the area reported as Balance of the County had
the highest year-over-year growth in gaming win of anywhere
in Nevada during 2006.
by the April opening of the Red Rock Resort and the December
2005 opening of the South Coast (now named South Point), Clark
County's unincorporated areas reported a gaming win of almost
$1.3 billion, a 20.3 percent increase from $1.07 billion in
the flip side, downtown casinos reported their second straight
year of decreased gaming win: $630.4 million, down 3.6 percent
compared with $654.1 million in 2005. Last year's gaming win
was a 1.3 decrease from 2005. Downtown ended 2006 with seven
straight months of decreasing casino revenues.
said the February closing of the Lady Luck and a hefty construction
and remodeling schedule at the Golden Nugget contributed to
some of downtown's woes.
Associated Press contributed to this report.