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Nevada casinos get record win in July

September 13, 2007|From the Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — Nevada casinos won the most money from gamblers in a single month in July, raking in $1.146 billion as luck favored the house.

The casinos' so-called gaming win was up 10.3% from a year earlier and beat the previous record of $1.144 billion in May.

The state's "hold" percentage, or the amount won by casinos as a percentage of the total amount wagered, was 15%. A year earlier, the hold percentage was 13.4%, which is normal, Gaming Control Board analyst Frank Streshley said.

"Some months, for the players, the luck swings their way. This month, it definitely swung on the casino side," Streshley said.

The data might have helped boost some gaming stocks Wednesday. Las Vegas Sands Corp. surged $7.94 to $116.79. Wynn Resorts Ltd. jumped $5.86 to $137.56.

Gambling revenue keeps growing in the U.S. casino capital, despite fears of an economic slowdown and the growing challenge posed by new slot machine facilities on the East Coast and by the Chinese gambling enclave Macao.

But Morgan Stanley casino analyst Celeste Brown downplayed the July results.

"While investors will likely view the large revenue growth numbers as a positive, we feel that revenue growth through higher hold is unsustainable in the long run," Brown wrote in an analyst note.

The "win" is what's left in casino coffers after payouts to gamblers are subtracted from money that's bet on tables, in slots and on sports events. It's a gross figure, with no operating costs or other expenses deducted.

And it's casino revenue only -- separate from hotel, restaurant or bar revenues generated by casinos.

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