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Monday, October 29th, 2007

Poker Profit$ Down

Written by Tom Somach in Poker News


Further evidence that America’s poker craze is subsiding was revealed last week when the Nevada Gaming Control Board, which oversees Nevada’s casinos, reported that revenues from the state’s poker rooms were down 6% in July and August of this year, compared with the same period a year ago.

“The figures (for July and August) are nowhere near the double-digit increases we’ve seen in recent years,” said Frank Streshley, senior research analyst for the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

“I think it was inevitable on a few fronts,” said Jack McClelland, director of poker tournament operations at the Bellagio hotel and casino in Las Vegas.

“You can’t sustain that type of growth forever. In poker, some players will eventually get tired of losing all the time. Unlike slots, most poker players don’t budget to lose, and when they realize that they usually do, they finally quit playing.”

Earlier this month, the Las Vegas Hilton, one of the larger hotel-casinos in Las Vegas, closed its poker room, saying it could make more money utilizing the space for slot machines.

According to state records, the poker craze began three years ago when state poker rooms’ earnings increased 50%, from $82 million to $128 million, in the 12-month period ending August, 2005, compared with the same period a year earlier.

The earnings increased another 24% in 2006, and then another 7% to a record $168 million in the same period ending last August, the records show.

Because the growth has slowed dramatically in the past year, and began to reverse in July and August, industry experts believe the country’s obsession with poker is over.

(E-mail Tom Somach at [email protected].)

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