GamingLAUGHLIN, NEV.– The numbers have been crunched at it appears that fiscal year 2014 was a good one for the Laughlin gaming market. Although the Nevada Gaming Control Board says that revenues were down slightly– $6.6 million, or 1.5 percent– profits were up by more than 50 percent. The latest figures were released this week in the Gaming Control Board’s annual Gaming Abstract. It shows that Laughlin’s nine casinos reported a net income in FY2014 of $20.1 million, which is 53.8 percent more than FY2013. A near four percent jump in revenues from hotel sales provided the biggest jump in overall revenue for the casinos in Laughlin. Food and beverage sales were flat. The $7.0 million increase in net income over FY2013 wasn’t the result of increases in overall revenue. Instead, the casinos improved their bottom line by cutting expenses. A deep cut in interest expense was a major factor in the amount of money retained in Laughlin. Interest expenses in FY2014 were reported at $29.7 million compared to $48.5 million in FY2013. The Gaming Abstract also provides some insight into other statistics such as average number of employees, room rates and annual room occupancy. The local gaming market supported just over 6,000 jobs in FY2014, which is down slightly from the 6,400 jobs reported the previous year. It is also half as many jobs as were reported in FY1994. For the third year in a row, the average room rate in Laughlin rose slightly. The $42.42 average room rate is the highest average rate in Laughlin history, but it still ranks as the third lowest among Nevada’s major gaming markets. West Wendover– located on the Utah Stateline near Interstate 80– has the lowest average room rates at $26.01 while South Lake Tahoe and the Las Vegas Strip have the highest average room rates at more than $115.00. Laughlin ranked last in occupancy in FY2014. The average room occupancy throughout the year was 63.0 percent. The worst month was Dec. 2013 when less than half of the hotel rooms available in Laughlin were occupied (48.4%). The best month was Mar. 2014 when occupancy was reportedly 72.6%. The Las Vegas Strip had the highest occupancy rate at 90.4%.