Nevada casino gaming revenue rose 7% to $914.8m in March, while Las Vegas Strip casino gaming revenue rose 13.1% to $507.6m, continuing the momentum set by February’s record tally. For the fiscal year-to-date (July 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013), the Nevada Gaming Control Board says statewide haul is up 2.8% while the Strip is up 5.7%.
Nevada slots revenue was $591.4m, up 2% over the previous year. Table games rose 18.6% to $313m, of which blackjack contributed $99.8m (+13.2%), beating out baccarat’s $74.8m, which was up an impressive 88%, suggesting some of the Asian whales stuck around after the Lunar New Year celebrations were over. Other significant contributors were roulette ($32.8m, +31.6%), craps ($30.9m, -11.8%), three-card poker ($15.1m, -3.2%), pai gow poker ($9.6m, +8.4%) and mini-baccarat ($8.4m, -2.6%). ‘Card games’ aka poker brought in $10.3m (-5.6%). Nevada’s sportsbooks brought in $13.5m (-7.7%), almost all of which came via basketball wagers, while the race book added $5m (-2%).
ATLANTIC CITY’S WOES CONTINUE
On the other side of America, Atlantic City casino revenue continued its six-year losing streak by dropping another 12.1% to $228.5m in April. Table game win fell 6% to $66.8m, while slots win fell 14.4% to $161.7m. The latter figure’s steep drop was attributed to a 15.7% reduction in promotional gaming credits wagered. Gaming revenue for the first four months of 2013 was $884.6m, also down 12.1% from the same period in 2012.
When it revealed its most recent annual decline, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) got creative by adding non-gaming revenue to the total for the first time. In the press release accompanying April’s numbers, the DGE refers only to “a change” in the table win and “a variance” in the slot numbers, omitting any mention that both those, er, ‘adjustments’ were negative. It’s difficult to know whether this is a strategy to obscure the relentlessly downward trajectory or whether the DGE now simply accepts that everyone understands the numbers will be less than the year before.
Of AC’s dozen gaming joints, only the Atlantic Club and Caesars Atlantic City posted gaming revenue increases, up 36.6% and 5.9% respectively. The figures bolster claims made by Atlantic Club boss Michael Frawley that the struggling casino had turned a financial corner, although the positive influence of the $11m cash infusion provided by the Atlantic Club’s erstwhile purchaser PokerStars cannot be understated.
Atlantic City’s newest casino Revel has now been open a full year (and bankrupt for two months now), allowing year-on-year comparisons for the first time, and they’re not pretty. Revel’s casino win fell 40.1% to $8m, narrowly edging out the equally troubled Trump Plaza ($6m, -32.3%) for dead last on the revenue chart. Caesars’ Showboat, which is also the subject of sale rumors, saw gaming revenue fall 16.9% to $16.5m.