CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) -- Nevada casinos were exceptionally lucky in August when it came to the high-stakes game of baccarat, pushing casino revenues up 11.2% over the year-ago period, state regulators reported Monday.
Casinos statewide won $955.3 million from gamblers in August, an increase of $96 million compared with the same month a year ago.
Revenue from baccarat, a high-roller game favored by Asian gamblers, totaled $193.6 million, up 55.6% or $69.2 million. It was the fourth-largest monthly baccarat win in state history, said Mike Lawton, senior analyst with the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
Driving the windfall was the percentage casinos "held," or won, after baccarat players wagered $1 billion. Though the total volume of betting action was down $13.1 million, the house win percentage was 18.5%, up from 11.9% in August 2012.
"It was the highest baccarat hold percentage since June 1999," Lawton said. "The house ran extremely hot. It's pretty much an anomaly, what that hold percentage was."
Excluding baccarat, casino winnings statewide would still have registered a 3.7% gain, or $26.8 million.
"The month was really carried by baccarat but other games had a strong month, too," Lawton said.
Big resorts on the Las Vegas Strip won $816.7 million, a 12.3% increase over August 2012. Clark County as a whole saw gambling revenues spike nearly 20%.
In Washoe County, casinos won $73.8 million, up 8.4%, fueled in large part by the region's Hot August Nights special event that draws classic car enthusiasts from around the country. Revenue won by casinos in Reno were up 9.7%.
August winnings were the largest recorded since 2009 in Washoe County, which has seen gambling revenue gains in five of the last six months, Lawton said.
The "win" is what was left in casino coffers after gamblers wagered $11.3 billion on card and table games and slots machines. A breakdown shows $2.6 billion was bet on card games, of which $1 billion was wagered on baccarat. Game and table win was up $110.7 million, or 35%.
The $8.7 billion plunked into slot and video gambling machines was up $21.3 million from the same month last year and represents the first increase in slot machine volume this calendar year, Lawton said. An extra Saturday in August 2013 contributed to the increase, he said.
Nevada collected $51.3 million in gambling taxes based on the August revenue. The levies represent a 3.5% increase from the same month last year.
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