ELKO — Elko County continues to see growth in gambling revenue during 2018.
Casinos here posted double-digit gains in January and the highest percentage gains in the state for the second month in a row.
West Wendover casinos won $14.7 million, an increase of 15.8 percent. Casinos elsewhere in Elko County posted $7.3 million in revenue, an increase of 19.26 percent. The Nevada Gaming Control Board does not provide separate figures for in Elko, Jackpot and Wells.
Statewide, Nevada gambling revenue topped the psychologically important $1 billion threshold in January despite a 2.1 percent year-over-year decline that regulators attributed to the timing of the Chinese New Year and the number of weekend days that month, The Associated Press reported.
Data released Wednesday by the Nevada Gaming Control Board show casinos statewide earned about $1.02 billion from gamblers, a decrease of $21.2 million. The sharpest decline among the markets monitored across the state was the Las Vegas Strip, whose winnings declined 8.9 percent to about $554.8 million.
“We were facing a very difficult comparison,” Mike Lawton, senior analyst with the control board, said of the statewide winnings. “Last January was up 12 percent.”
Lawton attributed the decline to the month having one fewer weekend day compared to January 2017 and the shift of the start of Chinese New Year to February. The timing of the holiday, which traditionally draws crowds of Asian gamblers, in turn, hurt baccarat play — the card game that can be a windfall or whiplash for casinos.
“If you remove baccarat from the equation, total win in the state would have increased by 2.7 percent or $23.6 million,” Lawton said.
Las Vegas saw its eighth consecutive monthly drop in visitation in January. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority on Wednesday reported visitation dropped 3.3 percent to about 3.4 million.