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On Tuesday, the Nevada Gaming Control Board delivered the revenue report for November, and it was difficult but by no means unprecedented. After three months of moderate but long-awaited gains, casinos ended up winning $822 million — 5.9% less compared to November of 2009.

Take baccarat, for example. One of the casinos’ top attractions for Asian ‘whales’ and other high-rollers, baccarat is such a key game in the Strip’s scheme of things that it will often be the crucial difference between profit and loss. And compared to November of last year, baccarat proceeds fell $129 million (18.6%).

Even worse, the taxes collected from casino revenues were down 12.7% in a state that is already cutting services and spending to the bone in response to record economic pressures. The current ‘official’ statistic keeps Nevada leading the nation in unemployment at 14.3%, about 5% worse than the already-dismal US average — and which does not accounting for the many more unemployed (depending on the estimate, 5% -10% more) who are ‘out of the system’ for various reasons.

Nevertheless, analysts are guardedly optimistic for the upcoming year — possibly because there isn’t much farther down to go. The word “trough” is very common among the predictions…


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