Nevada casino win down in May; baccarat play cited

A view of Las Vegas Blvd on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017.

Casinos in Nevada won nearly $982 million from gamblers in May, down almost 6 percent compared with more than $1 billion during the same month a year ago, the Nevada Gaming Control Board reported Thursday.

It was the fifth consecutive year-over-year decrease in statewide "gaming win," and the sharpest monthly decrease this year for the key measurement of state fiscal health.

Las Vegas Strip casino winnings were down more than 11% in May compared with a year ago, which board senior analyst Michael Lawton attributed to baccarat card play.

He said house winnings in the player-versus-dealer card game were about 7.5%, less than half of the more than 16% a year ago.

"Volume was steady, but players played luckier than usual," he said.

The Las Vegas casino resort corridor contributes more than half of the overall winnings total.

Statewide, results were better.

Statewide slot winnings were up 1.5% in May compared to a year ago, marking the eighth increase in nine months. Slot volume was up 3.6%, for the ninth increase in 10 months.

Gambling tax revenues make up about 18% of the state's $14 billion annual budget, second only to sales taxes. Nevada has no state income tax.

The report said the state collected $61.3 million in percentage fee taxes based on May figures. That was down 9.8% from the same month in 2018.