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May NEVADA GAMBLING REVENUES UP 16.2 PERCENT
Tuesday July 12, 2011 : May numbers cause for relief after a long and difficult period
Official figures for May 2011 released this week show that Nevada gaming revenues soared by 16.2 percent overall, driven mainly by baccarat and slot performances, reports Barron's business news.
Vegas Strip revenue rose 28.9 percent compared with a 2.2 percent drop on the Strip in April, and a 13 percent gain in March this year. Excluding baccarat, Strip revenue was still up 13.2 percent in May (baccarat was up 130 percent), whilst slot revenues rose 11.4 percent year over year.
The total number of Vegas visitors rose 3.3 percent year over year in May, versus increases of 4.8 percent and 5 percent in April and March.
Analysts, however, opined that the results will need to be repeated in the next few months to fully believe in a Las Vegas recovery worth celebrating.
“We believe a more telling indicator of a true recovery or lack thereof will be from summer results, as it is a time period heavily driven by the leisure consumer (with few holidays and conventions),” Sterne Agee analyst David Bain asserted. “Without a decent rebound in leisure activity and spend during consumer periods, we continue to believe that domestic recovery predictions are somewhat ahead of themselves.”
Associated Press quoted Nevada Gaming Control Board numbers, indicating that the state made large gains, with total gambling win of $984 million, an increase of nearly 16.2 percent compared with the same month a year ago.
"This is the largest total win since September 2008 and the largest percent increase since December 2006," said Mike Lawton, senior analyst with the Gaming Control Board.
For the 11 months of the fiscal year, total win is up nearly 2 percent statewide and 5.2 percent on the Las Vegas Strip, he revealed.
Taxes collected in June on the May winnings totaled $68.3 million, up 17.6 percent.
Resorts on the Strip - Nevada's gambling mecca that accounts for half of statewide casino revenues — posted a 29 percent increase in winnings for the month, up $130.2 million to $580.5 million. For the Strip, that's the largest win amount since January 2008, Lawton said.
Gamblers wagered $12.2 billion, $1.2 billion from hi-roller baccarat players. The $2.9 billion gambled on games was up $474.2 million, while $9.29 billion was pumped into slot machines.
While unemployment numbers improved in May to 12.1 percent — down from a record 14.9 percent in December — the state's joblessness is still well above the 9.1 percent national rate.
"In our opinion, the fall in statewide unemployment is a false positive and has been a result of outmigration and a declining work force rather than economic improvement," one analyst noted.
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