Are the Las Vegas casinos in trouble?

Tourists in Las Vegas spend less and less time in the casino. If this continues, the casinos are facing difficult times. Recent numbers show that fewer visitors were coming to Sin City in 2017. Last year 42,214,200 tourists came to Las Vegas. In 2016 there were still 42.9 million.

For years the trend has been that more and more tourists are coming to Las Vegas, but that these visitors are gambling less and less. In the past year, this trend continued for the most part, according to the recently published Las Vegas Visitor Profile Study 2017. Although the percentage of visitors who dared to gamble at least once in a casino rose from 69% to 74%, the average gambling tourist is becoming more and more economical. In 2017, the average loss per person was $ 541.18. In 2016, this was still $ 619.01.

The gamblers spent a lot less time at the slot machine or a game of blackjack: on average only 1 hour and 36 minutes a day. In 2016 that was 1 hour and 54 minutes. Not so long ago, in 2013, gamblers spent 2 hours and 54 minutes at the casino, so the decline is pretty strong.

On the rise: food, drinks, shows and shopping

So is it all bad news? Fortunately not for the casinos because more and more money is being converted and earned on food, drinks, shopping and entertainment. Many of the casinos in Vegas have numerous restaurants, trendy clubs, snappy bars, high-end shopping malls, spas, swimming parks, concert halls, theaters and so on. And nowadays tourists like to spend their money on entertainment other than the fun of gambling.

The average Vegas visitor shopped for $ 143.13 in 2017. That was still $ 122.66 in 2016. Last year $ 376.97 was spent on food and drinks. That amount has never been this high since the credit crisis. In addition, nearly two-thirds of all visitors attended a show. And 1 in 9 was at a performance by a celebrity DJ. That number was never before that high.

Las Vegas tourists are getting younger

We know from other research that the interest in traditional gambling is lower amongst younger people. With 45% of the Las Vegas tourists being younger than 40, it is obvious why the average gambling revenues are in decline. Continuing a trend observed in 2016, visitors to Las Vegas in 2017 were younger and more diverse than in the recent past. This trend suggests that there is a greater interest in active forms of entertainment and opportunities to create entertainments targeted to specific segments. And then it turns out once again that the younger generations, especially the so-called millennials, are not interested in the traditional casino games, but would like to come to Las Vegas to see famous DJ’s like Steve Aoki, Martin Garrix or Hardwell.

The rise of casinos outside Nevada, as a result of which Americans can increasingly legally gamble in their own state, is playing along too. And let’s not forget the competition from online casinos.