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Nevada gambling revenue down 4 percent in August, led by drops at Las Vegas Strip

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LAS VEGAS — Nevada gambling revenue fell nearly 4 percent in August, bedeviled by the baccarat table game.

Casinos brought in $920 million in August, down from $955 million a year ago, Nevada Gaming Control Board officials said Friday.

Not to panic, said agency analyst Michael Lawton. Baccarat, a popular but volatile card game, had its best August ever last year. Casino revenues from the game's latest month couldn't compare to a year ago, Lawton said.

"It's a game that can have some big swings," he said.

Of the $35 million drop statewide, $24 million was due to weaker baccarat revenue. Not counting baccarat, the state and Strip's revenue would have dropped 1.4 percent and 2.3 percent respectively, Lawton said.

In August 2013, the state's gambling revenue was up 11.2 percent while the Strip's revenue was up 20 percent, led by record-breaking baccarat winnings.

Last month, the state and Strip's revenue was down 4 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

Revenue on the Las Vegas Strip was down year-over-year to $553 million, while downtown revenue went up 4 percent to $35 million.

Reno gambling revenues were down 2 percent to $53 million.

South Lake Tahoe had a banner month. Casinos won $28 million, up 33 percent year-over-year.

The state collected $51 million in taxes on the August winnings, down 1 percent from last August.

Despite the latest drops, total gambling spending has been climbing. Since March, table game volume has been up every month, year-over-year, in the state and on the Strip, Lawton said. Slot players wagered $8.9 billion last month in Nevada, up 1.8 percent, the second consecutive month it was up year-over-year, Lawton said.

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