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Gaming Revenues in Nevada Fell 10.4% in 2009, the
 Largest Single Year Decline in State History

By Howard Stutz, Las Vegas Review-JournalMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

February 11,  2010 --Gaming revenues in Nevada fell 10.4 percent in 2009, the largest single year decline in state history.

Casinos statewide collected almost $10.392 billion from gamblers during the year, the lowest one-year total since 2003 according to figures released this morning by the Gaming Control Board.

Last year, gaming revenues totaled $11.6 billion statewide, which was a decrease of 9.7 percent.

On the Strip, casino revenues were $5.5 billion, a decline of 9.4 percent compared with $6.12 billion in 2008. Gaming revenues in Clark County as a whole fell 9.8 percent to $8.8 billion.

North Las Vegas, boosted by the opening of Aliante Station in November 2008, was the only reporting area of Clark County to show increase in 2009. Casinos in the market reported revenues of $286.2 million, a 1.2 percent jump compared with $282.7 million in 2008.

Casinos downtown saw revenues decline 10.1 percent in 2009 while the Boulder Strip casinos were down almost 6 percent for the year.

In December, gaming revenues statewide were $859.3 million, a decline of 3.2 percent compared with $888 million reported in the same month a year ago.

The drop followed an increase of 4.4 percent in November, the fist monthly rise statewide in more than two years.

Strip casinos, meanwhile, recorded their second straight monthly revenue increase. Strip casinos won $502.1 million from gamblers, a 5.9 percent increase compared with $74.2 million in December 2008.

Some of the revenue increase could be attributed to the opening of the $8.5 billion CityCenter development, including the 4,004-room Aria hotel-casino. Aria opened on Dec. 16, in time for what many analysts have said was a busy New Year's holiday.

New Year's spurred a busy month for baccarat on the Strip. Revenues from the game were $155,7 million, a 101.9 percent increase compared with baccarat revenues from December 2008.

The Strip results couldn't save Clark County as a whole in December. Countywide gaming revenues were $753.2 million, down 2.4 percent. The figure included monthly declines of 12.4 percent downtown, 25 percent in North Las Vegas, 19 percent on the Boulder Strip and 13 percent for the balance of the county.

Gaming tax collections for December were $33.5 million, a 6.7 percent decline compared with $35.8 million collected in the same month of 2008.

For the first seven reporting months of the fiscal year, gaming tax collections are $346.6 million, a 5.25 percent decline from the previous fiscal year.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871.

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