LAS VEGAS (AP) — Casinos on the Las Vegas Strip saw a 6 percent drop in revenue in October compared with the same month last year, but state's gambling regulatory agency did not attribute the decrease exclusively to the mass shooting that took place in the city that month.
Data released Thursday by the Nevada Gaming Control Board show casinos on the Strip took in almost $528.7 million from gamblers last month. That's about $34 million less than what they won in October 2016.
Casinos statewide faced a difficult comparison going into October since it had one fewer weekend day than the same month last year. In addition, the establishments on the Strip had seen a 14 percent revenue increase in October 2016.
"I'm sure it played a part of it. I'm sure it played into the decrease, but it's really difficult to quantify," Michael Lawton, senior research analyst for the board, said. "What I can quantify, I can tell you that it was a difficult comparison."
On Oct. 1, a high-stakes gambler killed 58 people and injured hundreds more after he shattered windows of his hotel suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino and unleashed withering gunfire at a country music festival below before killing himself.
The city's tourism officials also on Thursday reported that visitation to the gambling oasis last month fell 4.2 percent to 3.6 million tourists. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority blamed the drop to trip cancellations and postponements following the shooting.
Statewide, casinos in Nevada won about $988.8 million last month. The revenue remained practically flat over the year.
In southern Nevada, casinos in the Boulder Strip saw the highest increase in revenue with almost $78.7 million, a 17.1 percent jump compared with the previous year. Winnings in downtown Las Vegas were up 10 percent to about $63.6 million.
Meanwhile, revenues at casinos in Washoe County were up 3.3 percent to about $71.9 million.
The revenue report also shows that gamblers enthusiastically wagered at Nevada's sports books. For the second month in a row, they broke the state's all-time record for sports betting.
People bet $566.4 million, of which the sports books took in $31.5 million, a decrease of 25.7 percent over the year. Baseball fans put down $101.5 million on their favorite teams, setting a record for betting on that sport for the month of October.
"So, that can pretty much safely assume that the World Series was the most-heavily bet World Series ever," Lawton said.
The state benefited with almost $59.7 million in percentage fees based on the taxable revenues generated in October. That's an increase of almost $79,000 or .13 percent from a year earlier.
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