Nevada casinos win $11.3 billion in 2016, up from 2015 take

Markets Associated Press

Casinos in Nevada won $11.3 billion from gamblers in 2016, marking a second consecutive year of gambling revenue gains but still missing the pre-recession record set in 2007, state officials said Tuesday.

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The statewide amount that casinos took in was up 1.3 percent compared to 2015, according to data released by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

The gains — almost 64 percent of which came from slot machines — were recorded at casinos across the state and not driven exclusively by Las Vegas Strip casinos.

"This is what we want to see," said Mike Lawton, senior analyst with the control board. "It's growing again, and it's widespread."

Revenue from casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, Nevada's gambling mecca, totaled about $6.3 billion in 2016, an increase of less than 1 percent compared with 2015. The revenue of downtown Las Vegas casinos was up 4.2 percent to $565 million, while Reno casinos recorded wins of $596 million, a 4.5 percent increase over the previous year.

The only region to post a gambling revenue decrease in the state last year was western Nevada's Carson Valley area with a loss of less than 1 percent.

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Gambling wins for Nevada's casinos have increased in six of the last seven years but they are below $12.8 billion record reached in 2007.

However, Lawton said, the overall increases have come despite gamblers spending less money over the last three years on baccarat, a high-stakes game favored by high-rollers from Asia.

Nevada casinos won $1.2 billion from baccarat in 2016, down 5.3 percent from 2015.

Lawton said the board anticipates that factors including higher wages, increased employment and more Nevada visitors will lead to continued revenue gains in 2017.

"We are pretty optimistic," he said.

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Follow Regina Garcia Cano on Twitter at https://twitter.com/reginagarciakNO .