Nevada Casino Revenue Falls 1% To $877 Million In January 2011

Things don’t seem to be improving much for Nevada’s casinos just yet, after the state recorded an almost 1% fall in its January revenue to $877.4 million.
The January figure not only represents the fourth consecutive month of decline for Nevada’s casinos, but more worryingly the hub of the state’s gaming industry known as the Las Vegas Strip also fell 2.5% to $482.7 million.
Commenting on the disappointing result, Wells Fargo analyst Carol Santarelli said:
“Much was made of the strong start to the year with visitor and convention volumes up significantly in January on the Strip. Add in the Cosmopolitan opening in December and a fairly easy comparison, despite having one less weekend day in January 2011, and we believe expectations for January results on the Strip certainly called for year-over-year growth.”
High rolling baccarat players had contributed strongly to Las Vegas’ stability in the past but in January saw revenue decline statewide by a massive 39.7% to $64.8 million. Also down was table game volume from games such as blackjack, craps and roulette, which fell 13%, while slot machine wagering also fell 2.1%
However, it was still baccarat’s decline which sent the biggest alarm bells ringing and, as analyst Joe Greff from JP Morgan put it:
“High-end baccarat play has been the driver of gaming revenues over the past year and today’s results suggest that segment could be slowing.”
However, it was not all bad news and despite gaming revenue from the Las Vegas Strip  and Clark County declining, several other areas actually saw an increase in their figures. These included Boulder Strip up 13.2%, North Las Vegas up 10.9% while downtown casinos saw gaming revenue rise by 8.4%.
In addition, convention traffic improved by an impressive 36.9% and putting an optimistic slant on things, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Kevin Bagger said: “The overall trend continues to be positive.”

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