Las Vegas gaming revenues continue freefall

Apr 8, 2009 2:06 AM
by David Stratton |

Las Vegas casinos reported gaming revenues of $427.4 million in February, a 23.4 percent drop-off from the $556 million they won from gamblers in February 2008.

Statewide, casinos won $830.9 million in February, down 18 percent from the $1.1 billion they won in the same month last year.

Tempering the double-digit declines were one less weekend date in February, seven, compared to eight in February 2008.

For the first two months of 2009, casinos on the Las Vegas Strip won $937 million from gamblers, a 19 percent slide from the $1.1 billion they won for the same period a year ago.

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While casino revenues continue to nosedive on the Las Vegas Strip, the number of visitors has remained relatively steady.

In February, there were 2.8 million visitors to the Las Vegas Strip, only 8 percent fewer than the 3.1 million a year ago. And for the year to date, there were 5.6 million visitors to Strip casinos, down just 10 percent from the 6.2 million reported a year ago.

Most of the drop-off in visitation can be attributed to fewer airline passengers – about 15 percent less so far in 2009.

Auto traffic to Las Vegas from Southern California actually increased 1.2 percent during the first two months of 2009.

Analysts say factors that might adversely affect visitors’ propensity to gamble include higher trip costs such as transportation, lodging, food and entertainment, as well as the expansion of casino venues throughout the rest of the country.

Also, according to recent visitor profile studies, the number of first-time visitors to Las Vegas has reached an all-time low, which may account for less casino gambling from guests.