Yeah the hold percentage was a touch higher than last year and some of October’s slot revenue were included in November, but this was a pretty good month for the Strip.
The state of Nevada released a shocker today. Strip gaming revenues increased 8.3%. Digging deeper into the numbers, it is clear that the quality of the numbers was less than the headline would indicate. Nevertheless, November was a pretty good month for the Strip considering the environment and recent trends.
The Baccarat business continues to shine. Despite a huge Macau market in their backyard, the Asians keep coming to Las Vegas. Strip Baccarat revenue increased 136% y-o-y in November. A higher hold percentage certainly contributed but Baccarat drop still increased 84%. The following chart shows the fairly consistent outperformance of the Baccarat segment.
Pardon the pessimism – this was a good month after all – but there is still plenty of evidence of softness. The following chart shows year-over-year growth a few different ways. As we indicated, total Strip revenue increased 8.3%. However, the casinos played a little luckier so if you use a constant hold percentage, Strip revenues would’ve only increased 2.5%. Since Baccarat was so strong and can be very volatile month to month, we show revenue excluding that segment which actually declined 4.3%. Finally, excluding Baccarat and adjusting the hold percentage yields a revenue decline of 10.7%.
The Baccarat performance is encouraging but we’d feel better if the improving trend was more broad based.