Nevada casinos returned to negative territory in October despite sportsbooks posting their second highest monthly betting handle total.
Figures released on Monday by the Nevada Gaming Control Board showed October’s statewide casino revenue falling 2.9% from the same month last year to $887.6m. The decline was more pronounced on the Las Vegas Strip, where revenue fell 5.1% to $493.8m.
The numbers are a disappointment given September’s positive performance and particularly for spoiling a stellar month at the state’s licensed sports betting operators. Sportsbook revenue was up 21.8% to $33.6m on handle of $504.6m, the latter figure second only to November 2014’s $535m wagering total.
As ever, when the Strip’s overall numbers are worse than the statewide performance, high-volume baccarat is usually to blame. Sure enough, the game reported revenue falling 21.8% in October to $79.1m as hold slumped to 8.9% compared to 10.2% in the same month last year (which was itself down two points from October 2013).
Baccarat’s bust spoiled blackjack’s bonanza, as the game’s revenue rose 9.8% to $85.4m. Craps also had a good month, rising 13.1% to $34.4m, while roulette takings tumbled 45% to $18.3m. The rest of the table games finished as follows: pai gow poker ($8.5m, -4.8%), mini-baccarat ($6.9m, -9%), let it ride ($3m, -12.3%), keno ($2.7m, (+9.3%), while other games & tables rose 12.8% to $14.8m.
The state’s poker revenue – which includes both land-based card rooms and Nevada’s two licensed online poker sites – was flat at $8.7m. Total statewide slots revenue was down 1.4% to $572.2m on a similar decrease in slots handle.
As for the sportsbooks, football had a great month, with revenue up 38.7% to $23.5m on a 5.9% hold. The World Series didn’t help baseball’s fortunes, as revenue fell 34.3% to $2.5m. Basketball was down 5% to $1.6m while other sports added $920k and parlay cards jumped 11.2% to $5.1m.