LAS VEGAS-Long-sliding figures for the state’s gaming winimproved in the latest year-over-year monthly comparison, but thetotal lags behind the peak years, according to a report from theNevada State Gaming Control Board. At the same time, an analysis ofthe monthly figures by CB Richard Ellis gaming analysts JacobOberman and Brent Pirosch says, “Keep the champagne on ice fornow.”

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Nevada’s casinos reported a take of $944.4 million, an 11.5%increase over August 2009, and the Las Vegas Strip increase waseven greater, jumping 21% to $544 million. Even with the 11.5%increase, the state total continues to lag behind years like 2006and 2007, when the August take was more than $1 billion.

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Oberman and Pirosch says that the Las Vegas Strip gaming revenuenumbers “leads us to conclude that at least a few of the luxuryproperties on the Strip are off to a strong third quarter.”Nonetheless, the CBRE analysts say that “are not popping thechampagne corks quite yet” for a few reasons:

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August benefited from an estimated $9 million of slot revenuethat was earned in July but counted in August, they say, and theprevious year comparable was made easier because of a weak tablegames hold percentage in August 2009.

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In addition, regional gaming markets outside of Nevada did notconfirm the strong August Strip revenue number, and still sufferedsame-store single-digit revenue declines for the most part. TheAugust numbers also benefited from two major conventions held inAugust this year but September last year.

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According to Oberman and Pirosch, “The overwhelming positive forthe market in August was baccarat revenue, which blew out a toughprior year comparable ($116.4 million in August 2009), made evenmore impressive by the casinos having a below-normal baccarat holdpercentage.” Excluding baccarat, the CBRE analysts estimate thatsame-store comparisons are still declining. “We anticipate thatSeptember will likely confirm that same-stores revenue declineexcluding baccarat,” their report says.

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