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Nevada Casinos Report $3.4 Billion Loss For 2010

Strip Casinos Lose $2.5 Billion Overall

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Any indication of a rebound for the nation’s economic downturn isn’t being seen in Nevada. The foreclosure and unemployment rate remain high, but perhaps the most telling figure for the state’s current economic situation comes from the Nevada casinos themselves, which have just reported losses for the second consecutive fiscal year.

A total of $3.4 billion was lost by casino operators throughout Nevada in 2010, according to an abstract conducted by the Nevada Gaming Control Board on the state’s 256 casinos that gross over $1 million in gaming revenues. The profitability measurement takes into account all money spent at casino properties including rooms, dining, entertainment and gaming.

In 2009, casino operators reported a nearly $6.8 billion loss. While the 2010 numbers may indicate some growth, in reality, they are just reflecting the devaluing of casino assets by roughly $3.5 billion.

This marks the first time in the abstract’s history that casinos have reported overall losses two years in a row. Unlike in 2002, when casinos reported losses following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the current situation has little to do with a decrease in travel.

“People are still coming to Nevada because we’ve seen monthly tourism numbers grow,” said Mike Lawton, senior research analyst for the Nevada Gaming Control Board. “But the consumer spending levels remain challenged.”

Visitors may still be flocking to the strip, but they’re paying less to stay there. Room rates dropped an average of more than $12, moving from $124.75 in 2009 to $112.20 in 2010. For the 12th consecutive year, gaming revenues accounted for less than 50 percent of the overall net revenue total.

The 39 strip casinos lost just over $2.5 billion overall last year and reported a decline over 3.1 percent in gaming revenues worth nearly $5.2 billion. Downtown Las Vegas casinos reported losses of $73.7 million, compared to $54 million the previous year.