Nevada casinos saw winnings from gamblers decline in September for the 21st month in a row, another sign that the state's tourism-dependent economy continues to suffer in the recession, gambling regulators reported Tuesday.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board said casinos statewide won $911 million from gamblers during the month, a 9 percent decrease compared with the same month in 2008.
Taxes collected on the September revenue totaled $54.3 million, a 14.6 percent decline from the same month a year ago. For the fiscal year that began July 1, the gambling win has decreased 10.3 percent.
The September figure was the amount left in casino coffers after gamblers wagered $11.6 billion at slot machines and table games, a decline of 4.2 percent from a year ago.
Taxes on casino wins make up about 30 percent of the state general fund. Nevada has been particularly hard hit by the recession as gamblers pull back on discretionary spending.
While the report is sobering, officials said it marked the second month in a row that declines have stayed in the single digits. August posted the first single-digit decline since May, said Frank Streshley, control board analyst.
September was also the first time since March the statewide casino win exceeded $900 million, Streshley said.
Casino wins on the Las Vegas Strip, which account for about half of all state gambling revenue, fell to $506.4 million, down 3.6 percent, the smallest decline since June 2008, Streshley said.
For all of Clark County, Nevada's population and tourism hub, the casino win fell to $774 million, down 9.3 percent from $853.5 million won in the same month last year.
The region benefited from the Sept. 19 Floyd Mayweather-Juan Manuel Marquez boxing match at the MGM. The fight helped spur strong baccarat play, a high-stakes game.
Baccarat revenue totaled $99 million, up 29.2 percent from the year-ago period. Without that, Streshley said the statewide win would have declined 12.2 percent.
Streshley said Las Vegas Strip results suggest it will rebound faster than the rest of the state, as the national and international economies show signs of recovery. Smaller local markets, however, will struggle longer, weighed down by Nevada's record 13.3 percent unemployment rate and weak housing market.
September results also benefited from the long Labor Day weekend, which fell entirely within the month, as opposed to last year, when the first two days were in August.
In Washoe County, which includes Reno, casino win dropped nearly 6.4 percent to $72.1 million, marking the 27th month of straight declines for that area.
Along Lake Tahoe's south shore, casinos reported a 10.8 percent drop, taking in $21.8 million. Elsewhere, revenue fell 7 percent in Elko County; 15 percent in Churchill County; and 3.9 percent in Douglas County's Carson Valley.