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November gaming win down in Clark County, statewide

The state Gaming Control Board posted “Bah humbug!” November gaming win numbers with casino win off statewide and in most Southern Nevada markets.

The board on Friday reported state win was down 3.1 percent from November 2018, to $937.5 million. In Clark County, win was off 3.4 percent, to $805.2 million, with the Strip down 3.1 percent, to $517.9 million, and downtown Las Vegas 6 percent, to $52.1 million.

North Las Vegas casinos had the second-worst monthly performance in the state, down 15.3 percent to $19.3 million, second only to the South Lake Tahoe area, down 19.2 percent to $13.9 million.

Baccarat play was again the downfall for win in November.

“The continued trend of decreased baccarat volumes was the cause for this month’s decline as volumes of $557 million were down $247.4 million or 30.8 percent,” said Michael Lawton, senior research analyst for the Control Board. “Baccarat volumes have only increased twice this calendar year and are currently down 14.9 percent through November.”

The three-month gaming win trend, generally a more telling gauge of activity because it eliminates volatile swings resulting from calendar comparisons, showed a 0.1 percent decline statewide for the months of September, October and November. On the Strip, the three-month win trend was down 2.1 percent, and in downtown Las Vegas, it climbed 7 percent.

Excluding baccarat, statewide total win would have decreased 0.8 percent in November. That was due primarily to strong monthly win amounts recorded by other games including craps, roulette and sportsbooks.

“Sportsbooks in Nevada continued to be the leader in nationwide sports betting activity,” Lawton said. “During the month of November, sports pools won $31 million, up 14.3 percent, or $3.9 million.”

As many analysts have suggested, the spread of sports wagering nationwide has made it more mainstream and has actually increased activity in Nevada.

“The $614.1 million (sportsbook handle) represents an all-time record for the state, beating the previous record of $596.7 million set in March of this year,” Lawton said. “For the calendar year, sports pool write sits at $4.7 billion, up 6.7 percent and win of $292.8 million is up 14.2 percent.”

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported a mixed bag of visitation statistics on Friday.

With 3.5 million visitors in November, 0.9 percent ahead of November 2018, the city is on the verge of recording more visitors in 2019 than the previous year. The 11-month total stands at 39 million, 0.5 percent ahead of the first 11 months of 2018.

November convention visitation was 603,200, 1.6 percent off November 2018, with trade show rotations in and out of the destination offsetting each other.

Traffic on major highways into Las Vegas was down 4.5 percent to an estimated 115,148 for the month. The Nevada Department of Transportation says the total combines tourist and local traffic.

Joe Greff, a gaming analyst with New York-based J.P. Morgan, said the 5.2 percent increase in the average daily room rate to $134.95 helped drive daily revenue per available room by 5.4 percent, to $119.03.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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