he Gaming Control Board said the us$ 49.8 million collected by the state in taxes was nearly 13 %, or us$ 7.4 million, less than collections during the same month a year ago. Monthly tax collection figures are often skewed because casinos do not pay taxes on credit extended to gamblers until the debt is repaid.
If there is a bright spot in the report, it's that steep declines have eased, though revenues remain far below pre-recession levels, said Mike Lawton, a control board analyst.
"The overall declines are becoming smaller," Lawton said. "There were 10 double-digit declines in 2009. In the seven months so far this year, six declining months were single digits and one month was positive."
Casino revenues make up about one-third of the state's general fund. The industry was walloped in the recession as tourists and gamblers kept a tight fist on their wallets, and it has been slow to recover in a state that leads the nation in bankruptcies, foreclosures and joblessness.
The July win was the amount left in casino coffers after gamblers wagered us$ 11.5 billion on table games and slot machines. Table game winnings of us$ 291.4 million were up 3.5 % from July 2009, while slot machine winnings fell 9 % to us$ 525.5 million.
Casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, the core of Nevada's gambling industry that accounts for about half of statewide casino revenue, won $461.3 million in July, essentially unchanged from the same month in 2009. Casino winnings fell 19 percent in downtown Las Vegas and 23 percent in North Las Vegas, the report said.
In northern Nevada's Washoe County, which includes Reno and Sparks, casinos reported winning $69.7 million, down 2 percent.
At South Lake Tahoe, which has seen its market share sharply reduced by Indian casinos in northern California, July winnings of $23.7 million were down 12.8 percent.
Elsewhere, casino winnings fell 2 percent in Elko County and 4 percent in the Carson Valley region.