LAS VEGAS-Las Vegas Strip gaming revenue was up 2.4% to $467million, according to the latest monthly figures from the NevadaGaming Control Board, but it dipped sharply in a number of othermarkets in what could be described as an up-and-down month for thestate's gaming business. And an analysis of those figures by CBRichard Ellis gaming industry specialists Jacob Oberman and BrentPirosch shows that same-store year-over-year declines are nowmoderating.

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The Strip gaming revenue represented more than half of the $912million statewide take during the month, according to the GamingControl Board figures. Some of the ups and downs included increasesof 7.58% in North Lake Tahoe, 7.15% in South Lake Tahoe, 4.59% inReno and 2.27% in Laughlin, along with decreases of 11.75% in NorthLas Vegas, 10.62% Downtown, 9.21% in Sparks and 4.95% on theBoulder Strip.

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The ups and downs show that Strip gaming revenue, although itincreased for the latest month, was down 2.7% in the trailing12-month period compared to the 12 months that preceded it,according to Oberman and Pirosch. Oberman and Pirosch estimatethat, on a same-store basis, strip gaming revenue decreased 4.2%year-over-year in March and increased 2.1% year-to-date. Excludingbaccarat and mini baccarat, the CBRE analysts estimate thatsame-store gaming revenue declined by 8% year-over-year in Marchand declined 9.4% year-to-date.

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The analysis by Oberman and Pirosch also comments on theiroutlook both long-term and short-term for the market. "In the longrun, we believe that international visitation will be the primarydriver of economic growth for the Las Vegas Strip. In the shortterm, however, Las Vegas could be facing some headwinds in thisregard," the analysts say.

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The CBRE analysts note that the proportion of visitation andrevenue from international visitors has been increasing over thepast few years." The increase has been a function of rapidly risingAsian and emerging market economies, which have grown at a muchfaster rate than the US economy, and the Euro and Canadian Dollarthat have steadily strengthened against the USDollar―increasing the spending power of those visitors,"their report notes.

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Nevada's statewide take was down by .66% in March and is down by3.87% year-to-date for the fiscal year, which runs from July toJuly. Las Vegas Strip revenue, however, is up .71% for the fiscalyear.

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