Las Vegas gaming figures experience a drop in July
By abigail
The Nevada Gaming Control Board has released the revenue and profit figures for the state’s gambling operations in the month of July. The figures show that earnings have dropped by 1.5 percent when compared with the same period last year. The overall earnings for July for all the state’s casino was uS$812.4 million before taxes and business expenses, which was US$13 million less than earnings in July 2003.

Casinos in every designated area zone contributed to the decline in earnings. As far as explaining the drop, several factors have been identified as having a bearing on the figures. There was a down turn in slot machine revenue; blackjack has proven to be unlucky for the operators in July; racing and sportsbook revenue was down largely due to the casinos paying off professional basketball futures bets.

The revenue earned from blackjack, across the state, fell by US$11.7 million. Senior research analyst for the Gaming Board, Frank Streshley said that casinos usually enjoy a “hold” percentage of 13 percent but in July this fell to 10.4 percent. The slot machine winnings for the state fell to US$564.7 million, down by 2.9 percent.

These latest figures are unusual for the year, as the state has recorded double digit increases in gross revenue for four of the six months this year. The last recorded decrease in earnings was in December last year, where there was a 1 percent drop in gross earnings. Governor Kenny Guinn said of the figures: 'After six solid months, the latest gaming statistics are disappointing. Nevada's economy is strong and I am confident this latest downturn is only temporary.'

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