Las Vegas Casino Revenues Continue To Slide

The latest revenue results for both the Las Vegas Strip and Atlantic City has left no doubt that these two gambling hubs of the U.S. are facing their biggest downturn yet.
Las Vegas Strip suffered an unprecedented 19th straight month decline in July with revenue down 11% or $461.3 million from a year earlier, while Atlantic City saw its revenue decline by 16% to $391.7 million.
The Las Vegas Strip is looking a shadow of its former self right now with unfinished hotels and casinos waiting for cash injections, visibly fewer people gambling in the casinos and half empty parking lots. Perhaps one of the biggest wake up calls for businesses and analysts alike is that despite accepted wisdom on the subject, the gambling industry is not recession proof.
One regular traveller to The Strip said: “The last 8 to 12 months have not been good. Fewer people are travelling, there are fewer people in casinos, and even those travelling are cost-conscious.”
This reduced expenditure by tourists was echoed by Philip Britton, UK marketing head of Heli-USA, who said: “They’ll drop the limo transfer and take a cab, stay at a 3-star instead of a 5-star, take a $100 sightseeing flight, but not a $300 trip.”
The recession which started in 2008 continues to have a profound effect on consumer travel and spending patterns such that Far East direct flights to Vegas have been reduced dramatically, European visitors are way down and the ones who do go are not spending as much and big companies have had to contend with smaller budgets and less sympathetic public opinion following the recent bail out using tax payer’s money.
With all the gloom and doom around at the moment it is easy to get carried away but amongst Vegas’s unique selling points is that it is a multi dimensional tourist destination with gambling just one of the many entertainments on offer for visitors, unlike say Reno which is suffering more from not having taken a more diversified approach.
This was summed up nicely by a long term Vegas visitor who commented:  “Vegas is unique, it’s a truly global city like New York, London, Paris, Rome. It’s not a sleazy gambling town; it’s strong in shopping, has shows to rival the best, and family-friendly activities.”

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