- Associated Press - Friday, February 28, 2014

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Lady luck favored Nevada gamblers in January, as casinos statewide posted a 2.8 percent drop in gambling revenue compared with the same month a year earlier, the state reported Friday.

Casinos raked in $884.2 million from gamblers, down from $909.3 million in January 2013, even though the amount wagered had increased by more than $375 million, the Gaming Control Board said.

“Volumes were up both for slots and tables, but we were impacted by hold issues, mainly table games and baccarat,” said Mike Lawton, senior control board analyst.

The “hold percentage” is the portion of money gambled that the casinos win.


In January, the overall hold for card and table games was 11.87 percent, down from 12.17 percent in January 2013. But there was a big swing in the hold for baccarat, a high-roller game favored by Asian players: 8.9 percent in January versus 12 percent a year earlier.

On the Las Vegas Strip, home to the state’s largest, posh resorts, casinos won $499.8 million, down 1.4 percent from $507 million. Downtown Las Vegas casinos’ winnings of $43 million represented a drop of 3.4 percent.

Casinos in northern Nevada’s Washoe County posted a slight uptick of 1 percent, with revenue of $53.3 million, while gambling halls in Reno took in $38 million, representing a 1.3 percent increase. South Lake Tahoe casinos’ revenue of $14.7 million was off 12.4 percent.

The “win” is what was left in casino coffers after gamblers wagered $11.2 billion on slots, cards, dice and other games. A breakdown shows $8.5 billion was pumped into slot and video poker machines and $2.7 billion was bet on other casino games.

Money wagered on baccarat, which in included in table games, totaled $913.1 million, an increase of $104.4 million or 12.9 percent from January 2013, Lawton said. But the $81.4 million casinos won on the game fell 16.5 percent, a difference of $16.1 million, because luck favored the players over the house.

Based on the statewide January win, Nevada collected $69 million in taxes, which marked a 1.7 percent increase from the same time last year.

For the fiscal year that began July 1, tax revenues are up about 0.2 percent over the same period a year earlier.