Gaming boost for casinos in downtown Las Vegas - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Gaming boost for casinos in downtown Las Vegas

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

The state Gaming Control Board released the latest gaming figures on Friday about wins and losses statewide.

In southern Nevada, the Strip's gaming revenues decreased from May to June to 10.1 percent. Downtown, however, saw a boost of 9.3 percent for the same period.

"It's one of those things where you're starting to see, month over month, we're starting to see more and more pickups, more people coming downtown," said Derek Stevens, CEO of The D and the Golden Gate. "I think there's a lot of energy downtown."

Every time one of his casinos are filled with out-of-town guests or locals placing bets, it reminds him why historic downtown is becoming new again.

"When you have an opportunity to come out and experience all this great, free entertainment, seven nights a week, you get to walk to all these casinos," Stevens said.

Fremont has seen a lot of recent changes from the Lady Luck becoming the Downtown Grand to the Fitzgerald's changing its name and facade to become "The D."

"The D seems like it's a more hipper crowd, it's a younger crowd, it's a lot more lively down here now," said Kiel Minski, a frequent visitor to downtown.

Kiel Minski is a local and prefers downtown over the Strip. "It's less congested. It's more fun. People are more friendly. It has a better vibe than the Strip."

John Restrepo, principal at RCG Economics, said downtown has a unique appeal because it attracts both locals and tourists.

"There may be a little bit more mix downtown of locals in addition to tourist gambling, which is good because it brings a little more stability," Restrepo said.

While the June numbers are a win for downtown, the state reported a 0.73 percent decline for downtown gambling from a year ago.

The Strip, however, experienced a gain of 3.87 percent over June 2012. 

Meantime, Restrepo anticipates a modest climb in gaming revenues for all of southern Nevada for the next several years.

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