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Nevada casino revenues fall 11 percent in November

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) -- Nevada casino revenues took a gut punch in November, tumbling 11.1 percent from the same month a year ago and marking their lowest monthly win total in more than two years, state regulators reported Thursday.

Statewide, casinos won $782.6 million in November, down $97.5 million from a year ago. Casino taxes of $45.7 million collected by the state were down 20.2 percent, the Nevada Gaming Control Board reported.

Mike Lawton, senior control board analyst, said the winnings were the lowest monthly total since June 2010.

Still, total statewide win is up 1.5 percent for the fiscal year that began July 1.

Analysts cited several factors for the monthly revenue fall. Football bettors trounced the house at sports books and the Las Vegas Strip lacked a major boxing match of the kind that pumped up casino coffers in 2011.

Lawton said casino winnings in November 2011 were bolstered by the Manny Pacquiao bout against Juan Manuel Marquez. Such events are big draws for high rollers.

But Lawton noted that Pacquiao fought in Las Vegas last month, a factor that should help December's casino win report.

Sports pools statewide lost $8.2 million, a decline of $25.4 million, or 147 percent, from winnings in November 2011, the report said, despite betting volume that was up $99.5 million. The bulk of the loss, $5.3 million, was attributed to football betting.

"In general, bettors bet the favorites and they bet the over," Lawton said. "The majority of the favorites won during November.

"Bettors had one of those months where you just scratch your head."

Las Vegas Strip casinos in November pulled in $431.8 million, down 12.8 percent. Downtown casinos winnings were down 17 percent.

The $36.9 million won by Reno casinos was down 3 percent, while South Lake Tahoe's $18 million was up almost 27 percent.

The "win" is what was left in casino coffers after bettors wagered about $11 billion on table games, sports betting and slot machines. A breakdown shows $2.4 billion was bet on cards and other games, while gamblers plunked $8.6 billion into slot and video gambling machines.

Baccarat, a high roller game favored by Asian players, also factored into the overall statewide decline.

The $71.7 million won by casinos was down $17.7 million, or nearly 20 percent, from November 2011, there report said. The $564 million wagered on baccarat was off $93 million, or 14.2 percent.