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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.

BACCARAT SAVING THE STRIP ONE GAMBLER AT A TIME - LV Strip volume growth

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%. 

BACCARAT SAVING THE STRIP ONE GAMBLER AT A TIME - nov strip revs

The Baccarat performance is encouraging but we’d feel better if the improving trend was more broad based.