Each month, there’s a lot of sound and fury about what the results released by the Gaming Control Board really mean. And each month, when asked what I thought, I used to look at the numbers, compare them with the previous year’s, and speak.
Last year I decided to shift perspective a little by adding more historical depth. With monthly reports from 2004 onward freely available, I figured it was lazy not to use them. So I started comparing the recently released number for February 2011 with not just February 2010, but every February from 2004 to 2011.
This let me see the overall pattern a lot better, and even though it involves some work, I think it’s worth it, because it provides some more context for the numbers.
I think this is important because both investors and industry leaders make decisions partially based on the numbers, and I think that the more people understand about them, the better decisions they’ll make. It might not be able to predict the future, but the historical perspective will undoubtedly give people a much better grasp on the present.
For a while now, I’ve been playing around with another way to contextualize the numbers. Around the third quarter of last year I started putting out a “Year to Date” report that including data from the start of the calendar year. But early in the year, that’s not much value, and late in the year it’s just too much data that’s good for guessing what the year-end totals will be, but not necessarily telling you which direction the industry’s heading in at the moment.
So to provide that, I’ve put together a new report: Nevada Gaming Statistics: The Last Six Months. Here’s the explanation and the executive summary for the inaugural edition: