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Nevada casinos hit jackpot in April
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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Those flashy, blinky, button-filled boxes that fill casino floors are largely why Nevada can happily count its winnings from April.

The state’s casinos won 5.4 percent more during the month than they did a year ago and slot machine revenue accounted for three-fourths of the $45.9 million increase.

Nevada’s Gaming Control Board reported the latest numbers Friday that showed the state’s casinos won $897.9 million overall from slots, table games and baccarat.

The numbers had dropped in February and March, dragged down by the volatile swings in baccarat play, the table game that can mean a fortune or far less for casinos depending on luck.

“It didn’t hurt us this month,” said Gaming Control Board analyst Michael Lawton. The total amount bet on baccarat had been sliding, increasing just three times year-over-year in the last nine months including April when it was up 14.4 percent with gamblers wagering $742.1 million total.

Normally overshadowed by baccarat swings, “slots just keep doing its thing,” Lawton said.

Slot machine revenue rose 6.1 percent to $601.5 million total. Table games and sports betting revenue was up nearly 4.2 percent for a total of $287.9 million.

The total amount wagered on slots has been up four out of the last five months. In April, it was up 1.2 percent for a total of $8.8 billion bet on the 151,401 machines statewide.

On the Las Vegas Strip, April’s numbers beat the previous year even though April 2014 had a Manny Pacquiao boxing match at the MGM Grand and the debut of the redesigned Cromwell casino-hotel, Lawton said.

Lawton didn’t attribute much if any of April’s increase to the lead-up to the much-hyped Floyd Mayweather-Pacquiao matchup on May 2. The fight will have to contend with a particularly good May 2014 that had the state winning close to $1 billion from its table games and slots.

The agency’s report shows Las Vegas Strip revenue in April was up nearly 7.8 percent rising to $498.9 million and downtown Las Vegas revenue was up 12.6 percent for $49.6 million total.

Reno gambling revenue dropped 2.7 percent to $42.3 million in April.

Nevada collected $53.4 million in taxes on the April revenue, nearly 11.6 percent more than the year prior.

Cumulatively, over the first four months of the year, gambling revenue has been up in every market compared to the year before except for North Lake Tahoe.