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Nevada gaming win fell just shy of $1B benchmark in December

State gaming win nearly reached the $1 billion mark in December, normally one of the weakest tourism months of the year.

The state Gaming Control Board last month said that state win — the amount casinos take from gamblers — hit $999.7 million for the month, 4.1 percent more than in December 2017.

Joseph Greff, an analyst with JP Morgan, also noted that Strip baccarat declined 14.6 percent for the month withhold, well below traditional averages as gamblers played lucky. Greff also noted that December 2017 had 10 weekend days while 2018 had nine.

The three-month gaming revenue trend for the state, generally a more accurate gauge of win activity because it eliminates volatile swings resulting from calendar comparisons, shows the state’s 441 licensees’ win up 6 percent for October, November and December compared with those months in 2017.

In those three months in 2017, Southern Nevada was recovering from the shock of a gunman killing 58 people on Oct. 1 at Mandalay Bay.

The Control Board, which operates on a fiscal-year calendar, also analyzed 2018 totals and determined that casinos statewide won $11.9 billion from gamblers, 3 percent more than they won in 2017.

In Southern Nevada, 2018 win was up 2.7 percent to $10.3 billion, and Strip win was up 2 percent to $6.6 billion. Downtown win climbed 3 percent to $649.9 million.

All of the state’s 18 markets the Control Board monitors had increases over the previous year. The market with the largest percentage increase in 2018: Wendover, up 6.5 percent to $200.9 million.

Slot machines continued to produce the most win revenue for the state’s casinos with nearly double the win compared with table games and sports bets. The Control Board reported casino slot win was up 3.8 percent to $7.7 billion statewide while games win was up 1.6 percent to $4.2 billion.

The only declines in the entire state report were reported on the table-game side. Table game win was down 2.4 percent to $16.5 million in Mesquite and off 0.5 percent $66.2 million in South Shore Lake Tahoe.

— Compiled from a story by Richard N. Velotta of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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