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LAS VEGAS-Downtown saw gaming revenue decline in July, while the Las Vegas Strip and the State of Nevada as a whole saw revenue increase, according to state Gaming Control Board data released Tuesday. Downtown Las Vegas gaming revenue fell 5.33% in July while the Las Vegas Strip and the state as a whole saw increases of 9.96% and 8.38%, respectively.

The Strip and statewide numbers are an about-face from June, when their gaming revenue fell 7.1% and 3.47%, respectively. For the state, June 2006 was the first time gaming revenue had fallen on a year-over-year basis since July 2004, which has one fewer weekend than July 2003. Every month this year prior to June saw increases in Strip gaming revenue ranging from 29.5% in January to 6.2% in March.

For Downtown Las Vegas, however, the July results mark a continued drop in gaming revenue. The 5.33% decrease in July comes on the heels of a 13% drop in June, according to the Gaming Control Board. Things looked good at the start of the year, when January’s results showed a 15% jump in Downtown gaming revenue over January 2005. Then it fell 7% and 5.8% in February and March, rose only slightly in April and May and is now down again for the past two months.

On a region-by-region basis, Clark County saw an 11% increase in gaming revenue in July, with increases in revenue from the Strip, Boulder and other areas offsetting the decline Downtown and in Laughlin (-1.61%). The South Lake Tahoe area saw gaming revenue decline 6.65% and the Carson Valley area saw gaming revenue decline 7.85%. Washoe County (Reno, Sparks and North Lake Tahoe) saw gaming revenue decline 1.38% in July. Elko County (Wendover) saw gaming revenue decline 1.04%.

Visitor counts from July are expected later this month from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. In June, the visitor count was down 2% to 3.16 million visitors, but is off less than one half of one percent through the first half of the year. Hotel room nights occupied by visitors through the first half of the year is down 8.9%.

In other Nevada casino news, Applied Analysis’ Gaming Index posted its third consecutive month of decline in August, dropping by 16.3 points, or 4.6%. The locally based research firm’s Index tracks the stock prices of nine casino companies with significant operations in Nevada. Since hitting 379.3 in May 2006, the high-water mark since it was launched in 1998 with a value of 100, the Index has been on the decline and now stands at 337.1.

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