Nevada Casinos Plummet 14% To $926m In February

The Nevada Gaming Control Board has released its casino figures for February, revealing a 13.7% decline in revenues to $926 million compared to the $1.073 billion generated in February 2013. The state subsequently collected $58.9 million in gambling taxes, down 4.63% from a year earlier.
Nevertheless, the drop in revenues was largely anticipated as last year February reported a record $1.1 billion month, while this year both the Chinese New Year and Super Bowl Sunday figures were included in January’s results.
Also affecting February’s results was high-end baccarat players enjoying a lucky month, with the hold percentage falling to 12.3% compared to 16.6% for last year. Overall, Nevada casinos collected $158 million from baccarat, down 40% compared to the record $263.8 million reported for February 2013.
Worryingly, The Strip, which traditionally accounts for around half  the state’s gaming revenues, saw a dramatic 20.2% decline to $555.7 million compared with $696.1 million for the same month a year earlier. However, baccarat was held up to have had a significant effect on The Strip’s revenues, with Macquarie Securities gaming analyst Chad Beynon, explaining that “the majority of the downfall came on the baccarat tables.”
Consequently, analysts still remain optimistic of The Strips profitability for the year ahead, with Steven Weiczynsk from Stifel Nicolaus Capital Markets, stating:
“To that end, we remain upbeat on the Strip’s prospects over the balance of 2014. We believe incremental group and convention trips should not only benefit higher-tier properties, but trickle down to mid- and lower-tier assets as higher-quality occupancy becomes scarcer.”
Elsewhere around the state, Clark County experienced a revenue drop of 15.2%, with Laughlin down 5% and the Boulder strip down 9%, but Downtown casinos and North Las Vegas reporting an increase in  gaming revenue of 3% each. In addition, Washoe County revenues fell 1.4% while North Lake Tahoe experienced a huge decline of 22%.
Also included in Nevada’s overall gambling results was the state’s first ever online poker statistics, with its three online sites generating $824,000 in February, and $8.5 million in gaming revenue since the first website went live in spring 2013. Interestingly, The Silver State’s overall igaming figures over that 10 month period are equal to roughly one month’s revenue for New Jersey’s online gambling industry.

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