Nevada sportsbooks sacked by football, saved by baseball and basketball


nevada-sportsbooks-footballCasino gaming revenue in Nevada rose 1.88% to $978.8m for the month of October, according to figures released Friday by the state Gaming Control Board. Casinos on the Las Vegas Strip accounted for $580.7m of the total, representing a rise of 3.6% over last year. As always, slot machines generated the bulk of gaming revenues, bringing in just under $614m, up 6.88% on a win percentage of 6.92%. October 2011 benefited from a 19% hold on baccarat, which produced record revenues of $159.3m for the game. This October saw baccarat wagering rise 4.9% to $883.8m, but a more modest 14.65% hold produced revenues of $129.5m. Mini-baccarat revenues rose 53% to $6.7m on an 8.2% hold.

Breaking down other games, blackjack revenues rose 5.4% to $90.1m, craps was up 12.4% to $29.1m and keno was up 6% to $2.8m. On the declining side, three-card poker fell 3.5% to $13.5m, pai-gow poker fell over 21% to $7m and bingo dropped 73% to $186k. Roulette recorded an impressive 22.78% win rate, pushing revenues up 174% to $50.75m, blowing the doors off the state’s previous best monthly roulette total of $33.3m in December 2007.

Nevada’s sports and race books had an October they’d prefer to forget. Despite a 15% hold, race betting revenues fell 12% to $4.1m. Sports betting fared even worse, with hold falling to 1.7% and revenues off nearly 80% to $6.7m. As expected, football wagering was pummeled as favorites covered with impunity, resulting in a negative 2% hold for a net loss of $6.2m, down 123.5% from the previous year. Parlay cards declined 44% but still managed to generate $2.4m in revenue. If it weren’t for baseball and basketball, the books would really be singing the blues. Baseball revenues rose nearly 447% to $8.65m on a 14.7% hold while basketball rose 3,394% to $2m on a 26.4% hold. November’s football tally is also expected to be in negative territory, thanks to what one sportsbook director called the “worst day” he’d had in nearly a decade.

Turning to other states, the Pennslvania Gaming Control Board says slots revenue at the state’s 11 casinos rose 0.3% in November to $191.8m. Thanks to Pennsylvania’s insanely high tax rate, the state kept $103.7m of that total. If you eliminate the 11th casino that wasn’t open in November 2011, the slots haul actually fell 1.9%. Despite the extra casino, there were slightly less slots in operation this year (26,356) compared to last year (26,534). The Parx led the parade with $29.9m in slots revenue, followed by Sands Bethlehem ($23.16m), The Rivers ($23.14m), Harrah’s Philadelphia ($20.4m) and The Meadows ($19m).

In Maryland, the state’s three casinos brought in $43.1m in total revenue in November, with Maryland Live! contributing the bulk ($34.4m) and Hollywood Casino Perryville and The Casino at Ocean Downs responsible for $5.4m and $3.3m respectively. As a result of November’s ballot initiatives, Maryland’s casinos got the go-ahead to stay open 24/7 beginning Dec. 27. Currently, the state’s casinos must close at 4am on weekends and 2am the rest of the week. Maryland Live! plans to take full advantage of the new rules while the other pair have asked state officials to limit their own round-the-clock operations to weekends only. Stephen Martino, who heads the state’s Lottery & Gaming Control Agency, says those requests will be considered next week.