Gaming revenues continue to slide

Las Vegas land casinos reported a 23.4 percent decline in gaming revenues to $427.4 million in February 2009, well down from the $556 million recorded in the corresponding period a year ago.

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

Although gambling revenues are still headed southward, the number of visitors to The Strip has remained relatively steady. In February, there were 2.8 million visitors, 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.

Airlines flying into Vegas report that passenger numbers have declined about 15 percent so far in 2009, whilst automobile traffic to the gambling city from Southern California has increased by 1.2 percent over the same period.

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.

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