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Las Vegas Strip casinos post $2.5 billion loss in year

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Leila Navidi

Dark skies hang over the southern portion of the Las Vegas Strip in this file photo.

Updated Monday, Jan. 31, 2011 | 11:16 a.m.

CARSON CITY – The major casinos along the Las Vegas Strip suffered a $2.5 billion loss in fiscal year 2010, but it still was a better showing than the previous 12 months, the state Gaming Control Board reported today.

The net loss, which includes gaming, rooms and restaurants, was 38.2 percent less than in the prior fiscal year when the loss was $4.1 billion.

This was the first time there have been two consecutive years of losses. “The picture is not good,” says Michael Lawton, senior research analyst for the board. “The golden goose is hurting.”

Total revenue collected on the Strip reached $18.2 billion, off 5 percent from the previous fiscal year. Of that, total gaming revenue was $8.4 billion, down 5.3 percent from the previous fiscal year.

The board issued its Nevada Gaming Abstract, which showed statewide there were 256 casinos that grossed $1 million or more in gaming revenue. Nevada casinos had a net loss of $3.4 billion from total revenue of $20.8 billion.

That compares favorably with fiscal year 2009, when the statewide net loss was $6.7 billion on total revenue of $22 billion. Casinos cut costs by nearly $4.5 billion to help narrow losses from a stretch in late 2008 and early 2009, state gambling regulators said Monday. The fiscal year ends June 30.

Net loss is the money retained by casinos after expenses have been covered, but prior to deducting federal income taxes and extraordinary expenses. Nevada casinos paid $777.5 million in gaming taxes and fees, or 7.8 percent of their casino revenue.

The 39 major casinos on the Strip reported room revenue was off 7.8 percent with occupancy falling from 89.5 percent to 88.4 percent. The average room rate dropped to $112 compared to $124 in fiscal 2009.

But liquor sales rose by 7.4 percent at Strip casinos, indicating tourists are spending less on rooms and gambling, but more on booze.

Gaming win on the Strip accounts for 47.5 percent of the statewide total.

Clark County had 148 casinos grossing $1 million or more in gaming revenue and they generated a combined net loss of $3.3 billion from total revenue of $18.2 billion. Downtown Las Vegas casinos reported a net loss of $73.7 million, compared to $54 million in the prior fiscal year.

Washoe County had 31 casinos that reported a net loss of $27.5 million from revenue of $1.4 billion. Elko County had 18 casinos with $37 million in combined net income.

The Carson Valley area had 13 casinos that posted a net loss of $435,875. South Lake Tahoe’s five casinos reported a net loss of $90.3 million.

The abstract report also includes information such as the average number of employees, rate of room occupancy, revenue earned per room per day and gaming revenue earned per square foot of gaming floor space.

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  1. This is obviously the fault of "tightwad talk radio" such as the Dave Ramsey Show, that tells people not to gamble or spend money. "Gambling is stupid, but by my book." He has over 300 employees selling his "tight wad cult followers" books and seminars. He has the fifth highest listener-ship in the USA.

    In the local las Vegas area he may not have much of an impact thought, since he is on a station that is twentieth in the ratings.

  2. Las Vegas casinos seem to be adjusting their business approach more toward spend-less clientel, but in a kind of lopsided manner. I get offers from both MGMI and Ceasar's Ent. for free rooms accross a much broader calendar than ever before. But free rooms seen to come on the backs of greater vigs for the casinos from the machines and tables. My wife and I win less than before.

    While rooms go for gratis, buffets are a gouge. Where's the balance? An adjustment of reasonably priced rooms and meals with improved gaming odds for clients seems like something casinos would want to impliment and then advertise the Hell out of! Viva competition!

    Mr. Boris R. from Switzerland, in another post,
    brings up a point which interests my wife and I greatly. Casinos in his country dedicate the majority of their floor space as smoke free. It would be interesting to see their earning reports for the past couple of years. I doubt they are operating in the red.

    My wife and I are on the verge of quitting our Las Vegas trips. We've been coming for years, but as we age, our bodies are less resistant. Tobacco smoke now makes us both sick (I'd ranther not go into the vivid details!) We can't find a smoke-free gambling environment in Vegas, yet in casinos in the Sacramento Area, we can.
    How many thousands of mon-smokers shy away from Las Vegas casinos for the same reason?
    We both love Las Vegas, but the negatives outweigh the fun of it all!

  3. The loons are out in force. "It's Dave Ramsey's fault." "It's China's fault." Barry if you love the Chinese model so much I challenge you to go to China and level the same type criticism you have above and see how long it takes before you're put in confinement.

    I'm no fan of giving money to a casino but that doesn't mean I want to throw out our form of government so we can have a one child policy, stifle political dissent and stomp on freedom of speech. I guess the posters above don't have problems with giving up those fredoms.

    These folks are a member of the TUMs party or, "tax us more."

  4. The casinos have been told, over and over again since the recession started, both by people who post here and by others, what they need to do. They still are not listening and nothing is going to improve for them.

  5. Oh, and my last post brings up another thought. I don't believe anyone has brought this subject up before. It is only a matter of time (I don't know when) until some of these name brand casinos on the strip are forced to close. It will be interesting to see what happens then.

  6. Ken,

    Sometimes in life you have to have a reality check.

    Anyone that knows how to run a Billion Dollar Casino is NOT posting here. Only those that THINK they can run one are posting here.

  7. From the $2.5 billion debt posted last year, Nevada doesn't have anyone who can run a billion dollar casino.

  8. Harry Reid will fix it.

  9. Anyone else bother to follow the hot link, read the actual report, and reconstruct the financial statements to approximate reality? Try it. You will be interested to compare the "headline" number of the reported loss to the possibly more useful numbers you come up with.

  10. Hey mred, too, be sure to tune in to Glen Beck, Rush, and then Sean Hannity and then MARK LEVIN!

    We are soooo grateful you are a loyal listener.

  11. Psssst! mred!! Dave Ramsey teaches people how to stay independent and pay their own way instead of looking for lifetime government handouts like you and your ancestors.

  12. Samjung23, if you don't like him don't listen to him. DO NOT TELL OTHERS WHAT TO DO!!!!!!