Las Vegas is busier but revenues are down

3.2 million visitors in April

The tourism agency in charge of promoting Las Vegas says the entertainment and gambling mecca saw a small increase in visitors in April compared with the same month last year.

But the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said Wednesday that the nearly 3.2 million visitors spent less money gambling.

Gambling revenue in Clark County was down 6.1 percent to nearly $690 million. The Las Vegas Strip saw a decrease in gambling revenue of less than 1 percent, to $437 million.

The agency says that average nightly room rates were up 3 percent despite the addition of 8,000 hotel rooms from last year. Convention attendance was also up 2.9 percent.

Officials say 12.2 million visitors have come to southern Nevada so far this year, up 1.3 percent compared with last year.

Meanwhile, the state Gaming Control Board has released more up to date figures, saying that tax collections based on winnings were $39.7 million in May, a 23.4 percent decrease compared with the taxes paid in May 2009.

The steepest decreases came on the Boulder Strip, and in South and North Lake Tahoe. On the Boulder Strip, casino winnings dropped nearly 13 percent to $56.8 million. The area produced 7 percent of statewide gambling revenue, compared with 8.8 percent in April 2009.

Gambling revenue on the Las Vegas Strip dropped less than 1 percent to $437.3 million. But the Strip slightly increased its share of overall statewide gambling revenue during the month, taking in 54 percent of Nevada's total compared with 51.3 percent in April last year.

Only three areas — Carson Valley, Mesquite and Wendover in Elko County — showed any increase. The three areas made up a combined 4.1 percent of the state's gambling revenues.

Gambling regulators said casino winnings dropped 4 percent during the first 10 months of the fiscal year, which ends this month. Casinos statewide have won $8.7 billion from July through April, compared with $9.08 billion during the first 10 months of the prior fiscal year.

Over that time, casino winnings on the Strip increased just over 0.5 percent, to $4.79 billion.

State officials said the taxes collected on gambling revenues in the first 11 months of the fiscal year were $572.7 million, down 5.3 percent from the $604.6 million through the first 11 months of fiscal 2009.

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