Change of Luck for Nevada’ Casinos
In the sea of gloomy news on the state of the industry, a piece of good news that was welcomed was that total Nevada gaming revenues have increased by 3% in fiscal 2011, after three years of decline. Clark County, home of Las Vegas, is leading the recovery, while revenues have mostly declined in other counties. However, at US$10.6bn, the revenue is still far below the 2007 peak of US$12.7bn.

In Clark County, Las Vegas Strip revenue is up, while the smaller, so-called “locals markets” are still mostly falling. Las Vegas Strip revenues have grown by as much as 7% YoY in fiscal 2011, reaching US$6bn. It seems that the new openings, of the City Center in December 2009, as well as the Cosmpolitan a year later, have finally started bearing fruit and attracting new crowds to Vegas.
 Gamewise, baccarat led the growth. Total tables and betting revenues were up 8% YoY statewide, while slot play was flat, growing only 0.1% YoY.
Tourist arrivals are an important factor in the recovery. By May 2011, the number of Las Vegas visitors had been growing for 15 consecutive months.
However, the state of the wider Nevada economy is still serious, with unemployment higher than the national average (12.4% in June 2011, compared to 9.2% average) and many housing foreclosures – by May 2011 Nevada was the leader in the number of foreclosures in the US for 53 consecutive months. Hopefully the rise in gaming revenues will be a driver that will lift the whole of the state’ economy.