International edition
September 24, 2020

Revenue on the Strip came in at us$ 568 million for the month

Nevada casino winnings jump 14 % in February

(US).- Regulators say casinos on the Las Vegas Strip did better in February, pushing gambling winnings up almost 14 % statewide compared with a dismal month in 2009. The state Gaming Control Board reported that Nevada casino win increased to almost us$ 947 million, compared with us$ 831 million in February 2009.

M

ost of the increase was driven by the Strip, where the casino win figure was up a whopping 33 %. The board tallied a decline in the rest of Clark County, and modest increases in Washoe and Elko counties. The state's us$ 47 million share of overall winnings was still down more than 28 %, compared with the same period a year ago.

Revenue on the Strip came in at us$ 568 million for the month, up from us$ 427 million. That jump helped boost statewide gambling revenue by about 14% to us$ 947 million, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Analysts were anticipating signs of improvement in February, based on Super Bowl and Chinese New Year events. "We think results [on the Strip] were helped by the timing of Chinese New Year," which fell in February instead of March, said Joe Greff, an analyst at J.P. Morgan. "Looking ahead to March, which will be released one month from today, we believe, win excluding baccarat was solid and showed a slight year-over-year improvement in volumes," he added. "We also believe April and especially May are shaping up to be better room rate months for the market."

The rise was fueled by robust playing of baccarat - a table game favored by high-rollers, especially Asian ones - a run of good luck for the house. Baccarat win on the Strip soared 255% while the drop (the amount of money wagered) better than doubled and the hold percentage (the amount the casino keeps) was up 590 basis points to 17%.

That drove shares of MGM Mirage up better than 10% to us$ 14.74 while Las Vegas Sands rose 6% to us$ 24.23 and Wynn Resorts added 5.7% to us$ 86.32. Boyd Gaming jumped 12.5% to us$ 12.23. Without baccarat, Strip gambling revenue would have declined 1.8% as slot machine revenue fell more than 8%.

In his most recent survey, Greff found that Las Vegas Strip average daily room rates for the week of April 25 to May 1 are looking to be down 4% to $155 with weekday rates off 1% and weekend rates down 8%. In the same week of last year, overall average daily rates were down 21%. Greff estimates that for the second quarter of this year, rates will be down an aggregate 2%.

Atlantic City's casinos suffered a 15.7 % drop in gaming revenue in February, a month plagued by severe snowstorms that kept gamblers away in droves. The New Jersey Casino Control Commission will report revenue figures for March on Friday.

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