Nevada casinos posted a big win gain in May, reporting a total gambling win of $984 million, an increase of nearly 16.2 percent compared with the same month a year ago, the state Gaming Control Board said Monday. For the 11 months of the fiscal year, total win is up nearly 2 percent across the state of Nevada and up 5.2 percent on the Las Vegas Strip.
As reported by Forbes, Mike Lawton, Senior Analyst with the Gaming Control Board said, “This is the largest total win since Sept. 2008 and the largest percent increase since December 2006.”
The resorts on the strip account for half of statewide casino revenues and posted a 29 percent increase in winnings for the month, up $130.2 million to $580.5 million. For the Strip, it’s the largest win amount since January 2008, Lawton said- Forbes.
The gains aren’t necessarily a sign of better economic times, rather as Lawton explained to Forbes, part of the state-wide gains is attributed to a soft comparison for the same month a year ago, when the win was down 4.7 percent and two special events – the May 7 Pacquiao-Mosley bout and a UFC card on May 28 – also helped spur Las Vegas casino action.
Both the win and the amount wagered are a May record for Nevada…Las Vegas local markets were up 2.3 percent and “may be picking up traction, which is a good thing,” Lawton told Forbes.
According to the Forbes report, other analysts are sceptical of the impact of the numbers. While unemployment numbers improved in May to 12.1 percent – down from a record 14.9 percent in December – the state’s unemployment rate is still significantly above the 9.1 percent national average.
Forbes reports, Bill Lerner, an analyst with Union Gaming, said in a note to investors.
“We continue to be apprehensive about the overall recovery in the Las Vegas locals market…In our opinion, the fall in statewide unemployment is a false positive and has been a result of outmigration and a declining work force rather than economic improvement.”