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Nevada Casino Winnings Up for First Time in 23 Months | Gaming News

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Nevada Casino Winnings Up for First Time in 23 Months
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LAS VEGAS -- For the first time in 23 months, gamblers are spending more money in Nevada. In November, casinos won more than $873 million, up more than 4-percent from the same time last year.

But that's not the only number going up. Las Vegas saw a near 3-percent jump in visitor volume in November. The CES convention also saw a 6-percent increase in attendance. Las Vegas leaders are hoping this good luck lasts through all of 2010.

"We think convention numbers are going to be up a little bit, and so we think that is how 2010 is going to go -- that we are going to gradually see some increases in the numbers. That's what we're expecting for the first quarter," said Cathy Tull with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor's Authority.

The LVCVA says they have 25 major trade shows scheduled for 2010 that will pump more than $2 billion non-gaming revenue into the economy. Last year, they had 24 large trade shows.

These numbers don't include smaller corporate meetings that the city struggled to bring in last year.

As for gaming, casinos say the November increase is definitely a positive sign. Harrah's believes the Manny Pacquiao fight held in November was a big contribution to the increase.

"You bring in a lot of people who enjoy gaming and entertainment and when you have an event like that, it brings in volume, brings in players. So fights, high end entertainment, those types of one-time events are very important to Las Vegas," said Marybel Batjer with Harrah's.

Although Harrah's is hopeful 2010 will be better than last year, they say they still have quite a few challenges ahead as the economy recovers.

Even though visitor volume saw an increase, Harrah's says the typical visitor's gaming budget is smaller than before the recession.

The first quarter has a lot of events. Casinos are dealing with not only New Year's numbers, but also NFL playoffs, the Super Bowl, the Chinese New Year, and then March Madness.

The LVCVA does not have final attendance numbers for New Year's Eve, but they say after talking with casinos and local businesses, they expect an increase over last year.

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