LAS VEGAS-Gamblers lost $1.15 billion at Nevada casinos in July, 10.3% more than the same month in 2006, according to data released Wednesday by the state’s Gaming Control Board. The result could be a sign that gambling revenue in Nevada can continue to improve despite increasing competition within the US and overseas. July marked the first month of the 2008 fiscal year for gambling revenue in Nevada. Gamblers lost a record $12.73 billion in fiscal 2007, a 4.6% increase from fiscal 2006.

Clark County, home of Las Vegas and environs, took in 84% of the state’s July 2007 total, or $964.7 million, a 13% increase from last year. Casinos along the Las Vegas Strip accounted for approximately 63% of the county’s total, or $606.8 million, a 14.13% increase from July 2006.

Even Downtown Las Vegas, which has been flat or declining for a decade, joined the fun, raking in $53.7 million in July, a 9.58% increase from the same month last year and its third positive performance in the past four months. The July 2007 total was the highest July total since 2004, when it was $54.5 million.

Gaming Control Board senior analyst Frank Streshley tells that reasons for the increase could include a recently completed refurbishment of the Golden Nugget property Downtown, a ramped up marketing effort and new condo developments increasing the daily population in the area. “Annual [gaming] revenue [from Downtown] is still below where it was 10 years ago, but it’s trending in a positive direction,” he says.

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