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LAS VEGAS-Gamblers in Nevada lost just over $1 billion to casinos in April, a 5.1 percent decrease from the same month a year earlier, according to data released Wednesday by the state’s Gaming Control Board. For the fiscal year to date (July 07 through April 08), the so-called gaming win stands at $10.58 billion, off 0.5%.

The Las Vegas Strip fared better, taking in $524.11 million, off 1.28% from last year. Strip casino owners have been reporting that increased visitation from international gamblers taking advantage of the weak dollar has been partially offsetting a decrease in domestic visitation. April visitor statistics will be reported later today.

The international travelers haven’t been making it all the way Downtown, apparently. Casinos there saw gambling revenue fall 6.77% to $52.75 million.

In North Las Vegas, which is more of a locals market, gaming win fell 22% to $21.92 million. Clark County as a whole, which also includes Laughlin, the Boulder Strip and Mesquite, saw its gaming win fall 4.79% to $849.97 million.

In Washoe County, home to Reno, Sparks, and North Lake Tahoe, gaming win was $78.06 million, off 11.86% from last year. Reno gaming win was off 11.98% to 56.87 million, while Sparks casinos saw revenue fall 6.13% to $13.57 million and North Lake Tahoe casinos saw revenue fall 38.04% to $1.89 million.

Shares of gaming companies with properties in Macau –Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands Corp., MGM Mirage — declined earlier this week on news that May gaming revenue grew less year-over-year than in the first four months of 2008. Although up 31% in May compared with the same month in 2007, April’s growth rate, which had been the lowest, was 44%.

Shares of Las Vegas Sands Corp., which operates the newly opened Palazzo casino and properties in Macau, saw its share price touch a two-year low on Wednesday after a Goldman Sachs analyst removed the casino operator from its list of recommended stocks while maintaining his buy rating because he expects the share price to hit $85 by next year, which would be a 58% gain from Wednesday’s $53.77 closing share price.

Wynn Resorts’ share price closed trading Wednesday at $88.51, up $0.55 on the day but near the bottom of its 52-week range. Shares of MGM Mirage ended Wednesday at $42.32, off 5.3% on the day and also near the bottom of its 52-week range.

All three casino companies have had triple-digit share prices in the past 52 weeks. Wynn’s 52-week high is over $176 while Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s 52-week high is over $148. MGM’s 52-week high is just over $100.

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