Casino gaming revenue on the Las Vegas Strip stood at US$590.7 million in December, down 1.7 percent year-on-year, show data disclosed on Tuesday by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The Las Vegas Strip, in Clark County in the state of Nevada, is the main gaming hub in the United States.
Win from baccarat, a favourite casino game for Asian gamblers, fell by 4.5 percent year-on-year in December. Such win for baccarat – the amount of money retained by casinos after payment of prizes – was US$169.4 million during the month.
Slot revenue on the Las Vegas Strip gained 2.1 percent year-on-year, while table win declined 4.5 percent, showed the official data.
“Baccarat trends were resilient, helped mostly by better hold as baccarat drop still declined double digits (11.1 percent) while win was down just 4.5 percent,” said Union Gaming Research LLC analyst John DeCree.
“Excluding baccarat, table revenue on the Strip was down 4.6 percent year-on-year on a 1 percent decline in drop as hold on the mass casino floor was down about 75 basis points from the prior-year period,” Mr DeCree said in a note on Tuesday.
For full-year 2016, gaming revenue for the Las Vegas Strip was up 0.5 percent to US$6.38 billion, Tuesday’s data indicate. Win from baccarat fell by 5.8 percent in 2016 compared to the previous year, to US$1.21 billion.
Baccarat remained the second largest contributor to Las Vegas Strip gaming revenue, accounting for 18.5 percent of overall gaming revenue in 2016.
“Positive growth in gaming revenue is encouraging, particularly as baccarat win declined 6 percent in the year and remains under some pressure,” said Union Gaming’s Mr DeCree.
Also on Tuesday, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported that the Las Vegas Strip revenue per available room (RevPAR) grew by 10 percent year-on-year in December.
“This was above our estimate of roughly a low- to mid-single-digit increase,” commented analyst Cameron McKnight, from Wells Fargo Securities LLC. “December is historically a very slow convention month and results likely hinged on New Year’s Eve. In our view, the December strength points to a strong leisure customer,” he added.
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"The [Macau] government has a lead in this subject in regards to what should be done after the [gaming] concessions expire. We will be first listening to what the government will say”
Ambrose So Shu Fai
Vice-chairman and chief executive at Macau casino operator SJM Holdings