Nevada gambling revenue up 7.6 percent in March

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CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Nevada casinos won $982 million from gamblers in March, an increase of 7.6 percent from the same month a year ago with most casino games - from baccarat and craps to slot machines - posting better revenue numbers, state regulators reported Tuesday.

The report from the state Gaming Control Board showed gambling revenue on the Las Vegas Strip totaled nearly $561 million, up nearly 11 percent. Casinos in downtown Las Vegas took in $51.2 million, posting a 12 percent jump.

The statewide win was the largest so far this year, said Mike Lawton, senior analyst at the control board.

Special events helped boost the bottom line. The huge ConExpo-Con/Agg construction trade show in Las Vegas was held in early March and the opening of the High Roller Ferris wheel at the Linq debuted March 31.

The casino win was mostly down in northern Nevada, with South Lake Tahoe being the exception. Clubs on the scenic lake reported nearly $15 million in gambling revenue in March, a 32 percent increase over the same month in 2013 and ending a streak of five months of decline.

Gambling revenue in Reno and Washoe County fell nearly 11 percent.

Taxes collected on the statewide revenue amounted to $84 million, up 7.4 percent.

The “win” is what was left in casino coffers after gamblers wagered a collective $12.1 billion in March - $2.7 billion on card and table games; $9.4 billion in slot machines.

Baccarat, a volatile, high roller game favored by Asian players, brought in $101.8 million statewide, up $29 million, or nearly 40 percent, from the same month a year ago, despite lower betting volume. In March, luck favored the house by 4 percentage points over the previous year.

While baccarat has been a dominate driver of Nevada casino revenues during the recession, March also saw improvement in a broader spectrum of games. Revenue from blackjack, or 21, exceeded baccarat, bringing in $105.9 million, while the $42.1 million won on craps was up 36 percent from a year ago, the report said.

Without baccarat, statewide gambling revenues would still be up 4.8 percent or $40.3 million, Lawton said.

Internet poker brought in $926,000 in revenue in March, an increase of 12.2 percent over February. Nevada has licensed three online poker websites that are available to players only within the state.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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