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Statewide casino revenue in Nevada sees slight drop in July

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Statewide casino revenue in Nevada sees slight drop in July

Gamblers were a little luckier in July, when the statewide casino revenue in Nevada decreased slightly for the first time in six months, according to data regulators released Thursday.

The monthly report from the Nevada Gaming Control Board shows casinos won $996.4 million in July. That's a 0.2 percent decrease compared with the same month last year.

"If we would've held a little better in some table games, we would've had a really good chance probably of beating last year's number," senior board analyst Michael Lawton said of hold percentages, which represent the slice of money gambled that casinos retain. "But table games hold was a big reason why we were down slightly."

Lawton said July was a "respectable month" overall, with revenues for the calendar year up 3.6 percent.

The statewide decrease was driven by casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, where revenue shrunk to about $533.1 million primarily due to baccarat — the card game favored by high rollers that can be a windfall or whiplash for casinos. Lawton said luck favored baccarat players, and the game accounted for $21.9 million of the Strip's overall $32.5 million revenue decrease.

MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment, which operate the bulk of the casino-resorts on the Strip, earlier this month said they expected weak results for the ongoing quarter. They attributed the third quarter challenges to fewer events scheduled in the city and lower room rates.

Visitation figures released Thursday by the agency responsible for promoting Las Vegas appear to back the companies' expectations. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported a 3.4 percent drop in visitation, with about 3.7 million people traveling to the destination. Convention attendance decreased about 20 percent due to changes in the scheduling of trade shows.

The agency also reported the average daily room rate in July dropped to about $119 while citywide occupancy declined more than 3 percentage points to 90.8 percent.

Casinos in downtown Las Vegas saw their revenue reach $48.8 million, up 8.2 percent over the year. Meanwhile, casinos along Boulder Highway saw the biggest jump in revenue in Clark County last month, bringing in more than $78.7 million or about 18.5 percent more than a year ago.

In northern Nevada, casinos on Lake Tahoe's south shore in Stateline raked in almost $30 million, up about 26 percent.

The state benefited with more than $55.8 million in percentage fees based on the taxable revenues generated in July. That's a 19.3 percent decrease over the year.

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