Revenues rise for Nevada casinos
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Nevada casinos pulled in more money in March than the same month a year ago, but that was not the case in Northern Nevada.
The increase was about 7 1/2% percent across the state and marks a turnaround from the beginning of the year when revenue was on the decline. But, in Reno and Washoe County, it wasn't the same story. Revenue fell nearly 11% year over year for March.
Mark Nichols, who's an economist at the University of Nevada, Reno, says, while it's not encouraging, the drop doesn't indicate a whole lot about the overall recovery of the industry in the region.
"The good news is when you look year over year over the whole 12 month period, Reno is up by about 3% and Reno seems to be gaining some traction, somewhat slowly."
Nichols says that improvement is probably tied to Northern Nevada finally seeing more tourism and that should continue into the summer months. The growing presence of tribal casinos in Northern California has, of course, hurt Reno's total revenue. It used to be a nearly billion dollar industry here. But, Nichols says that's a long term trend and one that Reno has weathered for a while now.
"I think that we've seen the impact of the competition from California has been absorbed and has been felt, and the recovery that you're starting to see now is more economic, as opposed to a change in the competitive environment."
Casinos in Tahoe and on the Strip saw an increase in March, however, that was mostly tied to high stakes games like baccarat.