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Nevada Gambling Revenue Rises, Atlantic City Falls

Written by:
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Published on:
Feb/10/2011

(Reuters) - It may not be leading economic indicator, but Nevada  gambling revenues rose slightly in 2010 after a two-year decline attributed in part to the recession, the state gaming commission reported on Thursday.

The total "gaming win," $10.4 billion, represents a slight 0.1 percent increase compared to 2009, which saw a 10.4 percent decrease from the year before, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

The figures are rare good news for Nevada, which was particularly hard hit by the recession and continues to have the nation's highest unemployment and foreclosure rates.

But the rise only brings revenues back to about 2004 levels, according to Michael Lawton, financial analyst for the commission.

A closer look also reveals that the only area seeing an uptick in 2010 was the Las Vegas Strip, which increased by 4.1 percent, accounting for $5.8 billion of the state's total gaming revenue.

Downtown Las Vegas, Reno and other areas all saw decreases in gaming revenues last year.

The Las Vegas Strip's take mostly came from table games such as poker, craps and baccarat, a "high-roller" game played by international visitors and not the mass market, Lawton said.

Baccarat's take was $1.1 billion, most of it on the Strip, in 2010. Baccarat surpassed 21 as the dominant table game, Lawton said.

Revenue from slot machines was down everywhere, including the Strip, dropping 2.7 percent statewide last year and reaching the lowest total since 1997.

Lawton said this is probably due to "the everyday Joe, who's still coming, but not spending as much."

 

(Bloomberg) - Atlantic City’s casino gambling revenue fell 13 percent in January, extending four years of decline at the New Jersey seaside resort beset by competition from nearby states.

Betting proceeds shrank to $255.4 million, the New Jersey Casino Control Commission said today on its website. Slot machine revenue at the 11 casinos slid 16 percent from a year earlier to $164.9 million, and table game winnings were down 8.3 percent to $90.5 million.

Gambling in the second-biggest U.S. casino market after Las Vegas has tumbled to $3.57 billion in 2010 from a peak of $5.2 billion in 2006 -- before Pennsylvania and Yonkers, New York, allowed slot machines. Competition also has come online in Delaware, Maryland and West Virginia.

Six of Atlantic City’s casinos went through bankruptcy or restructured debt during the financial crisis, and development has stalled. New York City is adding its first slots at a racetrack in Queens this year, intensifying competition in the region.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is overhauling regulators and creating a tourism district around the casinos to help halt the marketwide decline, which is hurting tax revenue.

Business/Financial News

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