Slumping Las Vegas Strip Looks to Turn Things Around

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

Every gambler falls into a slump from time to time. This is just the nature of the game. However, sometimes it works the other way around with the gambling halls falling into a slump of their own.

In a recent article posted on by Travis Hoium of the Motley Fool, the casino gambling capital of the world is currently mired in a slump that has gotten 2018 off to a very slow start. The Las Vegas Strip is a vital part of the entire Nevada casino industry and it has been taking it on the chin the past few months.

According to this report, the Las Vegas Strip’s overall gambling revenue was off 8.9 percent in January alone to a quoted figure of $554.8 million. To make matters worse, the three-month revenue trend is off 6.1 percent. Going back over all of 2017, the drop is a bit more palatable at less than one percent. This type of negative return could have an impact on all the major player’s stocks, which rely heavily on Las Vegas for their total gaming revenue. Wall Street investors are watching the situation closely when it comes to the share price of MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts.

The article digs deeper into where the problems in Las Vegas may lie centering on the popular table game baccarat. The average gambler might assume that blackjack is the biggest game on the Strip, but baccarat accounts for a third of all the revenue generated by table games. The drop in revenue on this game alone over the past year was 14.1 percent to $1.09 billion. The really bad news is that this trend is headed in the wrong direction. Baccarat revenue has dropped 28.2 percent to $292.7 million over the past three months.

The losses in baccarat can be directly attributed in the decline of the Asian travel market to Las Vegas. With an increase of gambling options closer to home, most notably Macau, China, baccarat’s biggest supporters are opting out of the hotel deals and the ‘book your flight’ cheap airfares that help bring them to the Strip in the first place. When it comes to some of the other popular table games on the Las Vegas Strip, blackjack has shown a 2.5 percent increase in revenue over the past year to $913.5 million. Slots are still the biggest source of revenue at $3.22 billion and they were up 2.4 percent in 2017.

Increased competition from other casino gambling destinations both in the United States and around the globe have cut into Las Vegas revenues in the past and yet the Strip not only survived, but thrived in light of increased competition. There is probably a plan already in place to remarket the lure of Las Vegas to the Asian market. The good news with this latest decline is that it is confined to one table game receiving added competition from one gambling region, Macau. You know that Las Vegas is betting that this current slump cannot last forever.

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