Las Vegas Casinos Continue to Struggle, Push Statewide Gaming Revenue Down 1.8 Percent

Posted on: May 29, 2019, 08:39h. 

Last updated on: May 29, 2019, 08:59h.

Las Vegas casinos are struggling through the first four months of the year, and the Strip’s reduced gross gaming revenue (GGR) is hurting the industry statewide.

Las Vegas casinos gaming revenue
Las Vegas hasn’t been so fabulous in 2019. (Image: Getty)

Data released this week by the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) reveals that GGR on the Strip declined 3.5 percent in April to $481.8 million. As a result, casino win across the state was down 1.8 percent compared to the same month a year ago, with total revenue coming in at $936.5 million.

There were some market bright sports. Downtown Las Vegas casinos continued their strong streak with a 2.1 percent GGR increase to $61.7 million. Reno jumped 3.2 percent to $48.9 million. Mesquite was up four percent.

Other markets that experienced revenue declines included Laughlin (-2.7 percent), Sparks (-3.3 percent), and South Lake Tahoe (-12.5 percent).

Sportsbooks won $21.6 million across the state last month, up 33 percent compared to April 2018.

Sin City Problems

The Las Vegas Strip has now reported gaming revenue decreases in each of the first four months of 2019. Analysts have cited baccarat volume declines in previous months, but that culprit can’t be blamed in April.

The table game generated a 5.6 percent win increase last month. However, other table games fell more than 13 percent.

There are concerns that Las Vegas is simply becoming too expensive for many. Rising resort fees and the elimination of free parking is upping the cost per day for guests.

A reader recently said he’s been visiting to Las Vegas for more than a decade on golf trips, but explained his group is now opting to stay off the Strip.

The cost keeps going up,” he said. “New last year was parking. Add the resort fees, and I’m looking at $50 a person per day just for fees.”

David Schwartz — executive director of UNLV’s Center for Gaming Research – opined last summer, “There are fears that Las Vegas has finally pushed its luck too far. For nearly all Americans, there are now places to gamble that are much closer than Las Vegas, which is why the city’s resorts have reinvented themselves as places to eat, drink, shop, and occasionally gamble.”

Visitor Volume

Schwartz and other gaming industry observers have statistics to back up their opinions. Along with reduced gross gaming revenue, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) reports that overall visitor volume to Sin City was down 1.4 percent in March, and is flat for the year.

Convention attendance is up 1.5 percent January through March, but general tourism is down.

While Strip guests pay as much as $45 a day in resort fees, downtown casinos offer reduced rates for the “amenities” such as in-room Wi-Fi, local calling, and boarding pass printing. The Palazzo and Venetian each charge $45 a day, and MGM and Caesars’ marquee properties such as Mandalay Bay and Caesars Palace tack on $39 per 24 hours.

However, downtown, The D is just $25, and the M Resort in Henderson is just $22.