Could The USA's Ailing Casino Industry Finally Be On The Way Up?

Could The USA's Ailing Casino Industry Finally Be On The Way Up?Having been on the decline since 2008, the casino industry in the States may finally be on the road to recovery after Moody’s Investors Service revised its assessment of the American gaming industry from “negative” to “stable.”
Up until 2008, the industry enjoyed a golden age with many companies investing huge sums of money on what was viewed at the time as unstoppable growth. However, the global financial crisis coupled with the continuing migration of players to online poker rooms and casinos, has meant many of those companies have now run up huge levels of debt.
In 2008, the US casino industry recorded a decline of 4.6% in revenue, and by 2009 that figure had fallen further to 5.7%, with national gross gambling revenue totalling $30.7 billion. This year, though, there are signs that things might finally be improving and, as Keith Foley, Moody’s Senior Vice President explains:
“U.S. gaming revenue was flat year over year in March and April 2010, and it appears the trend will hold for May. While not a stellar performance, it’s a marked improvement over the consistent, and often substantial, declines of 2008 and 2009. It also has favorable implications for gaming company operating profits, a majority of which comes directly from slot machine and table game revenue.”
Despite the encouraging figures, Moody’s has warned against expecting any marked growth in the industry any time soon and instead forecast a period of between 12 to 18 months where “gaming company operating profits will stabilize.”
However, it will take an improvement in the U.S. economy and an increase in consumer spending patterns before the gaming industry really starts to see signs of growth. When things do eventually return to normal, gamblers will then benefit from an increase in choice brought about by more than half of the states in the US expanding their gambling operations in one form or another.
In the meantime, Keith Foley highlighted the need for the industry as a whole to meet the challenges which lie ahead and to continue devising solutions to improve the situation; “Waiting for recovery is not a strategy,” he added.

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