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Bankrupt Herbst Gaming posts small profit

Bankrupt Herbst Gaming suffered steep declines in revenue in the third quarter, though the company managed to turn an earlier loss into a small profit.

The company, whose 12 casinos in Nevada include three properties in Primm and Terrible’s at Paradise and Flamingo roads, took in revenue of $168.7 million in the quarter that ended Sept. 30. That’s down 16.5 percent from earnings of $196.5 million in the same quarter a year ago.

Herbst posted quarterly net income of $385,000, an improvement over the $22.4 million loss it experienced a year earlier.

Herbst also continued to see big drops in revenue from route operations, or money it makes managing slot machines inside bars, restaurants and other nongaming businesses. Route operations earned $47.5 million in the quarter, an 18.5 percent drop from $58.3 million a year ago. Casino operations were down 6.7 percent, from $122.8 million to $114.6 million. A 2006 ban on smoking in almost all public places besides casinos has hurt gaming revenue in the route-operating segment.

Herbst filed Chapter 11 in March. A U.S. bankruptcy judge has signed off on Herbst’s plan to hand over its operations to a group of lenders that hold $876.5 million in company debt.

Herbst employees told the Review-Journal on Nov. 9 that the company had laid off 200 workers in Primm.

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