The winning streak had to end at some point.
Nevada’s winning streak came to a screeching halt in August after reports of a 3.7% drop in gaming win statewide. The news was much worse for online poker, with revenues dropping 22.5% in August, their lowest point since the state started reporting the figures.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board (GCB) released their monthly gaming report on Friday and the big story was the state’s first decline in gaming win in five months. Revenues for the state dropped to $920.2 million. Perhaps the most disappointing figures came from online poker, reporting revenues of just $742,000, down from the $985,000 reported in July.
Baccarat Was a Significant Factor in State Loss
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, high-end baccarat games were the biggest reason behind the 3.7% drop in win for the state in August. Revenue from baccarat fell by 14% on the Strip due to decline in baccarat hold. For those unfamiliar with the term, hold is the percentage of money that a casino makes from a particular game.
Year-over-year, baccarat saw a 3% drop in hold by the casinos. In August 2013, the state saw a 18.9% percent hold vs. just 15.9% this year. Last year’s hold was viewed to be a bit high, so this may just be a correction by the marketplace.
Baccarat has played a huge role in gaming win for the state. Last year, most of the Nevada’s 5% revenue increase was driven by baccarat hold. Wagering on the game was up 3.2% last year. This year, wagering on the game is up 10.9% on the Strip. The lesson to be taken away is that Nevada casinos are winning big on the game and should expect some occasional bumps in the road.
Baccarat Can’t Take the Blame for Online Poker Numbers – But Not All News is Bad
Online poker in Nevada took a major hit last month, down 22.5% to $742,000. This is the lowest figure reported by the GCB in 2014. Some of the drop can be blamed on the end of the summer tournament season in Las Vegas. World Series of Poker gamblers helped push the state to over $1 million in online poker win during the summer while logging on to WSOP.com in record numbers.
July’s win of $985,000 was still partially influenced by WSOP gamblers as the series did not conclude until mid-July. With the summer gamblers out of Vegas in August, numbers were expected to drop to pre-WSOP numbers. Keep in mind that the state experienced a similar drop in April, with revenues falling from $926,000 to $792,000, so this could just be a short term correction.
Despite the short term drop, the $742,000 collected in August was a 8.65% increase in revenues year-over-year. Per that figure, online poker collected just $677,000 during August 2013. From Sept 2013 to August 2014, the state collected $11.075 million in Internet win.