Win for baccarat – the table game of choice for Chinese and other Asian gamblers – fell by 42.3 percent year-on-year in August at Las Vegas Strip casinos in the Nevada gaming hub. Win for mini-baccarat, another form of the game, fell by 17.8 percent in the same period, according to data released on Thursday by the Nevada Gaming Control Board
‘Win’ is a measurement defined by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, as the money taken in by casinos minus the total amount paid to players for winning wagers.
The Strip’s August baccarat win was approximately US$72.97 million from 332 tables in 21 locations, with a win percentage of 10.2 percent. The mini-baccarat win there was approximately US$4.79 million from 79 tables in 24 locations, and with a win percentage of 11.8 percent.
A note on Thursday from brokerage Wells Fargo Securities LLC said that a year-on-year decline in casino hold percentage for traditional baccarat had some impact on the August numbers for the Las Vegas Strip.
Total gaming win for August on the Las Vegas Strip – including all table and slot games – was approximately US$449.6 million, a year-on-year decline of 14.8 percent. State wide, gaming win was US$860.7 million in August, a fall of 5.2 percent on the prior-year period.
“Baccarat hold of 10.2 percent was down 430 basis points versus a year ago,” said analyst Cameron McKnight.
“For reference, based on recent average monthly baccarat volumes, a 100 basis points swing in hold percentage translates into roughly US$10 million incremental win/loss in either direction. There is no clear reason for the weak volumes this month,” he said.
Mr McKnight added: “There seems to be less clarity on when large players come into town; July was very strong on baccarat (+41 percent year-on-year) possibly on a baccarat tournament in the month.”
Analysts Carlo Santarelli and Danny Valoy, of Deutsche Bank Securities Inc, noted the weakening in hold percentage for baccarat on the Las Vegas Strip in August.
They stated: “Overall August Las Vegas Strip table revenue of US$202.2 million (excluding poker) was down 24.3 percent year-on-year on a drop decrease of 11.5 percent and a hold decline of approximately 197 basis points.”
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