Nevada casino gaming revenue rose 1.37% in May to $897.2m, according to figures released Thursday by the state Gaming Control Board. The boost was largely due to an improved win rate on baccarat over the same month in 2012, as the previous year’s May saw a low baccarat win of 8%, while this year brought things back up to a more respectable 11%.
Overall table game win rose 7.2% to $293.6m, despite the fact that total table game handle fell 7%, adding weight to the adage that it’s better to be lucky than good, especially when dealing with Asian baccarat whales betting big on every hand. Slots win hit 6.43%, adding $581.4m to Nevada’s May tally. Overall results were better on the Las Vegas Strip, with revenue up 6.8%. For the year to date, Nevada’s statewide gaming revenue is up 2.4% to $10.1b.
Baccarat revenue topped all table games with $93.1m (+25.3%), topping blackjack’s $83.2m (+15%). Craps contributed $33.4m (+16.6%), narrowly edging out roulette’s $32m (-0.2%). The rest of the table game also-rans contributed as follows: three-card poker ($13.2m, +5.7%), pai gow poker ($8.9m, -6.5%), mini-baccarat ($8.2m, +25%), keno ($2.7m, -1.7%), bingo ($1.5m, +99%) and ‘other games’ ($13m, +2.9%). Providing Las Vegas Sands’ boss and internet gambling scold Sheldon Adelson with an ‘I told you so’ moment, the first full month of play of the first Nevada-licensed online poker site coincided with a 1% drop in brick-and-mortar poker revenue to $10.2m.
Nevada’s race books saw revenue rise 3.5% in May to $5.7m on a 15.3% hold. Nevada’s sportsbooks saw revenue fall 40.4% to $5.7m on a measly 2.8% hold. Football ‘win’ was actually a loss of $1.56m, while basketball win fell 56.3% to $1.7m. Baseball brought in $4.2m, despite a 22.3% drop over May 2012. Parlay cards brought in a mere $47k, down 51.6%.