No Las Vegas Strip recovery until 2014, says consultant

Sep 24, 2012 6:48 PM

The Las Vegas Strip is at least two years away from hitting its previous 2007 peak in gross gaming revenues, says an international gaming consultant.

In an interview with a “Seeking Alpha” writer named Elliott R. Morss, Warwick Bartlett, the chief executive of the Global Betting and Gaming Consultancy, said he believes it will be at least 2014 before the Strip’s gross gaming revenues hit $6.8 billion.

Global Betting and Gaming Consultancy identified itself as having worked with or having supplied information to over 500 clients.

“Looking at all the gambling industries,” said Bartlett, “casinos suffer more than almost any other industry during a recession. The recovery started toward the end of 2009. Despite a 9 percent uplift from 2009 to 2011, Vegas has a long way to go. And the prospects of some federal budget balancing after the presidential election could slow down the gambling recovery.

As for those who say gambling is recession proof, Bartlett advises they look toward Spain and Greece where revenues have plummeted.

“Europe has been awful,” he concluded.

The comments were made to Morss during an interview he conducted that included Bill Lerner, a principal in the Union Gaming Group of Las Vegas and Macau.

Lerner noted Nevada has been bolstered more recently by baccarat revenues coming from Asian customers.

“Without this uptick,” he said, “things would be worse.”

At the beginning of his article, Morss said he had written “a couple of pieces on coming casino problems in the northeast U.S.,” but did not consider himself an expert on gaming.

The piece was published shortly after Nevada officials revealed that the state’s jobless rate moved up to 12.1 percent in August while the rate in Las Vegas had fallen to 12.3 percent.

Ray Poirier is the longtime executive editor at GamingToday.

Contact Ray at Ray­[email protected].

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