Nevada casino slots and baccarat decline in January; 888 preps online poker debut

nevada-casino-revenue-fallsNevada casinos earned $884.2m in gaming revenue in January, a 2.76% decrease year-on-year, according to figures released Friday by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Casinos on the Las Vegas Strip fared slightly better, falling 1.4% to $499.8m. Slots handle was up but win rate fell, resulting in a 5% decline in slots revenue to $567.1m. Also contributing to the monthly shortfall were the hot hands of high-rollers, which pushed baccarat revenue down 16.5% to $81.4m.

Baccarat’s misfortune allowed blackjack to assume temporary control of the top table game ranking at $97.9m, despite that figure being basically flat year-on-year. Together, the two games accounted for nearly 59% of all table game revenue. Craps had a good month, rising 29.9% to $30.1m, while roulette dipped 6.8% to $25.1m. The rest of the table tallies shook out as follows: three-card poker ($11.2m, -7%), mini-baccarat ($10.7m, +87%), pai gow poker ($9.3m, +22%), pai gow ($4.1m, +191%), let it ride ($3.3m, -2.8%), keno ($2m, -8.2%), bingo ($419k, +625%) and other games ($13.3m, +2%).

Nevada sportsbooks enjoyed a healthy 62.9% bump in revenue to $13.3m. Basketball earned the lion’s share of betting revenue at $10.8m (-22%), but football revenue rose 142.5% to $2.4m. Counting the Super Bowl action, Nevada books won a total $111.5m from football this season, $20m higher than their previous best performance in 2006-07. Racebook revenue was up 7% to $4.3m.

Nevada casino poker rooms saw revenue rise 7.5% to $10.1m. Next month’s revenue report promises to be an interesting one, as the February launch of Real Gaming’s online poker site brought the total of state-licensed sites to three, the magical number that requires the state to disclose online poker revenue as a separate category.

Further heightening expectations, a fourth site appears close to joining, Fertitta Interactive’s and Caesars Interactive‘s in Nevada’s online poker ranks. The agenda for the Gaming Control Board’s March 5 meeting includes a request by 888 US Limited for final approval of the ‘888 Poker Interactive Gaming System.’ 888 Holdings, which already powers in Nevada, is also the only company active in New Jersey and Delaware, the two other US states currently permitting online poker play.

UK bookies Ladbrokes also have a stake in the March 5 meeting. Lads are seeking findings of suitability for their top executives, including CEO Richard Glynn and chairman Peter Erskine. Also seeking approval for licensure as a manufacturer, distributor and information service are Stadium Technology Group, the supplier of risk management software to Nevada sportsbooks in which Lads acquired a 65% stake back in January 2012. Meanwhile, their UK rivals William Hill just announced that its US division had turned its first profit, so Lads have a long way to go if they want to make this a proper race.