The G2E Gaming Expo in Las Vegas attracts gambling executives from all over the globe. To European eyes its seems like quite a large affair attracting 26,000 people. Actually G2E ranks only 21st in the list of Las Vegas conventions by attendees.
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is in top spot with 165,000 attendees. Trade shows for mining, concrete, shopping centres, and kitchens all attract more attendees than G2E. It just goes to show how Las Vegas has positioned itself as a convention destination.
With 62,000 hotel rooms to fill, Las Vegas has to sweat its assets. Conventions are now equally important to Las Vegas as gambling, especially as many US residents now live within 45 minutes of casino entertainment in their own state.
In 2016 more than 5 million convention attendees visited 22,000 conventions in the desert resort. Las Vegas contributed $50 billion in tourism to South Nevada in 2014, more than 54% of the region’s gross product.
Between 1996 and 2010 there were 12 new casinos built on the Las Vegas strip. Since then there have been none. But with 2018 scheduled to be one of the best yet for conventions, operators are looking to acquire land. Construction is now underway for Genting Resorts World and Wynn Resorts is building Paradise Park over the golf course
The UK has nothing that comes even close to the convention facilities in Las Vegas. Yet the UK has all the infrastructure in place to make it succeed: an extensive rail network that connects directly to Europe and four major airports around London.
If the UK does negotiate a successful Brexit deal with the European Union, it will need to examine all its commercial enterprises and decide what it does best, and what will be required for those business to expand further.
As Las Vegas Sands has demonstrated, the mix of conventions, fine dining, ample hotel capacity, and gambling is a successful combination. The combination provides value for money for the consumer, employment and taxes.
Why is the UK not doing this?