After a dismal performance in December, it can be confirmed that the annual revenue generated by Nevada casinos fell by 1.1% from 2013 to land at an approximate value of $11 billion [£732 million]. Although still worth billions, the confidence of the industry has been shaken by the widespread media reporting of the decline in revenue.
However, the writing was clearly on the wall after revenue fell by 8% in December, coming in at $950 million [£632 million]. More alarmingly, though, is that the revenue generated the Las Vegas Strip suffered a massive fall of 16%. For what is the jewel in the Las Vegas crown, that level of performance simply is not good enough.
Collapse in Baccarat Performance
Looking closer at the December performance, the reason for the decline clearly lies with baccarat. Comparatively, baccarat brought in $60 million [£40 million] than blackjack and was the single largest earner. But when it came down to earning in December, baccarat suffered a collapse of 38%. And that sort of decrease is not one that the Las Vegas Strip can afford to tolerate for long.
Based on the laid back, simplistic nature of baccarat, it is a game that is favoured by high rollers who can afford to lose a little money. Plus, it is also the high rollers who have traditionally visited the Las Vegas Strip to play blackjack. Interestingly, this could be a sign of what is to come for Las Vegas.
Nowadays, high rollers have the largest selection of possible casinos to attend. With obscure locations like Andorra legalising casino gaming to capitalise on its popularity, existing meccas like Las Vegas has to evaluate their efforts to ensure that they are doing enough to continue to appeal to players. Otherwise, they risk losing high rollers to premier casino experiences in other corners of the globe.
Online Poker and Gambling Suffering
New Jersey has been far from a stable online poker market since legalising the activity in recent years. However, New Jersey is at least in a position to report on statistics. In contrast, Nevada was unable to report on its online poker performance because an embarrassing outcome for the market.
After Ultimate Gaming left in November 2014, the Nevada Gaming Commission was forced to stop gathering statistics. And this is because the state requires a minimum of three online poker sites before revenue and performance can be reported. Until a new operator decides to enter, no official stats will be reported.
In evaluating the current state of Nevada online gambling, the most accurate assessment comes from Tony Alamo, who is head of the Nevada Gaming Commission. While speaking to Vegas Inc., Alamo seemed in resignation when he said that Nevada does ‘not have the population base to do [online poker] just in our state.’
Expanding on his assertion, Alamo went on to explain that ‘it’s not financially viable’ unless the US government chooses to legalise online gambling at a federal level, and that’s not going to happen any time soon. Struggles are ahead for Nevada.