Lake Tahoe's two gaming markets saw year-over-year increases in win for the month of October, a month in which statewide win topped $1 billion for the fifth time this calendar year. The strong statewide numbers came despite a bad month for Baccarat.
Gaming Control Board Analyst Mike Lawton said the last time that happened was in 2007 during the peak before the recession. He said total win of $1.06 billion in October is 7.5 percent higher than October last year and puts the state's gaming win up 2.6 percent for the calendar year with all major markets in positive territory.
Baccarat win of $76.2 million was down 13 percent. While betting volume was actually up, the percentage of bets the casinos held was, as Lawton put it, "terrible." They kept just 8.7 percent of bets compared to 14.88 percent a year ago.
North Shore casinos at Crystal Bay were up by a whopping 18.7 percent. Table games were up 16.2 percent to $65,000 and slot win rose 19.4 percent despite the 2.8 percent decrease in volume of play.
On South Shore, total win increased 3.62 percent to just more than $17 million. A 47.6 percent decrease game and table win to $2.2 million was offset by a 21 percent increase in slot win totaling $14.8 million.
The issue in table games was in the "Other Games" category, which is where Baccarat play shows up in Nevada's smaller markets. That category was down more than 330 percent and casinos at Stateline actually lost $1.4 million there.
Washoe County had its second consecutive decrease, winning $70.9 million. That's 1.3 percent lower than a year ago. But since Washoe is coming off a record of 16 consecutive increases, the county is still up 4.5 percent for the calendar year.
The Carson Valley Area, which includes valley portions of Douglas County, was up 3.3 percent over October last year to $9.1 million. That increase is the area's 17th consecutive month of monthly increases and puts Carson Valley up 6.3 percent for the calendar year. While table games win was down $542,000, slot win increased 3.65 percent.
Churchill County reported an 8.1 percent increase in October win. Casinos there brought in $1.811 million, nearly all from slot play. Churchill's 10 non-restricted licensees brought in just $73,000 from table game and sports pool play.
Despite the poor performance of Baccarat, game and table win was up 10.8 percent to $369.3 million for the month. That was driven by $125.7 million in win from the "21" tables, a 40 percent increase. Lawton said that's the seventh highest "21" win in history.
Slot win increased 5.8 percent to $693.5 million and, year to date, is up 2.1 percent.
Statewide, sports pool win was down 6 percent in October to $29.5 million. Lawton said the reason is simple: the month had one less Sunday for bettors to place wagers on football this year.