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Baccarat Supports Nevada Economy for the Month of February 2010

The Year of the Tiger had some good effect on the Las Vegas Strip. The state of Nevada posted its 1st double-digit improvement in gambling revenues in almost three years during February 2010, supported by results from the Chinese New Year holiday and the Super Bowl weekend.

Statewide, casino facilities reported total gambling revenues of $946.6 million during the month, a 13.9% improvement compared with February 2009, when casino facilities collected $830.9 million, according to the figures released on April 14th, 2010 by the Gaming Control Board.

The last time that gaming revenues in Nevada improved by double-digits was in July 2007. The statewide total was the biggest single-month improvement since December 2006 and just the 2nd statewide gambling win improvement since November 2009 when revenues improved by 4.3% after dropping for twenty-two straight months.

Strip casino facilities were the biggest beneficiary of the increased player traffic in the Chinese New Year in February 2010, earning almost $568 million in gambling revenues, an improvement of nearly 32.9% compared with $427.4 million in the same month last year. The figure was the biggest single-month improvement since November 1999.

Control Board Tax and License Division Chief Frank Streshley said that February turned out to be an excellent month for the Strip. He added that it was a record for any Chinese New Year held in the area and there was a big volume of betting on baccarat and the hold percentage was well above the average amounts.

Supported by visitors during the Chinese New Year celebrations, players on the Strip bet more than $1.2 billion on the game of baccarat during February, up by 132% from a year ago. That translated into a win of $205 million for casino operators, up a record of 255%.

The hold percentage on baccarat was 17.04% vs. 11.12% last year. Streshley said that the hold percentage was above average. He added that spending improved on all casino table games all over the state as well.

Some gaming experts believe that Las Vegas may be placing its hopes too much on overseas visitors to make up for the absence of American players, who have been affected by the economic crisis. University of Nevada, Reno economic professor Bill Eadington said that the increase in the game of baccarat over the past half year is a clear indication of the energy of the Chinese economy aside from advertising efforts of U.S. casinos with Macau gaming interests.

He said that the bad news is that it shows little indication of the recovery of the domestic Las Vegas gaming market. Wells Fargo Securities gambling analyst Dennis Farrell Jr. stated that the results from the Strip helped improved the economic health of the state.

Farrell Jr. said that he is worried that the reduced airline capacity in the market, weak attendance on conventions and lower spending by domestic players will continue to affect the market. He added that he believes that the worst is not over yet despite some improvements on the Nevada economy.


Tuesday, May 04, 2010
John Palmer

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