Fighting for a Seat at the Table

If you notice wider aisles and a bit more space on casino floors than in prior years, there's a possible explanation.

There are fewer casino games, tables and slots in Nevada, according to data from the UNLV Center for Gaming Research.

Table games led by poker that don't provide an edge to the house peaked at 1,070 in 2009 but were down to 887 last year, a 17.1 percent drop. Slot machines topped out at 217,221 in 2001 but there were only 182,574 statewide in 2012, a nearly 16 percent decline.

Games with a house edge, including blackjack, craps, baccarat and sports books, hit an all-time high of 6,217 in 2005 but were back down to 5,739 last year, a 7.7 percent decrease.

Table and card games in 2012 were also down from their all-time highs by 31.7 percent downtown, 10.4 percent on the Boulder Strip and 2.7 percent on the Las Vegas Strip. Downtown, which had 581 such games in 1987, was down to 397 last year.

Slots in 2012 were also down from their all-time highs by 41.9 percent downtown, 25.1 percent on the Las Vegas Strip and 3.8 percent on the Boulder Strip. Downtown had 19,137 slot machines in 1991 but only 11,124 last year.

Despite these declines the 2,933 gaming licenses held in Nevada last year reached their highest level since the record 2,987 licenses issued in 2007.


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