10 Things Gambling Travel

What to do in Vegas? In 2011, “not gamble” was on the list

Weird Las Vegas and Nevada: Your Alternative Travel Guide to Sin City and the Silver State
Weird Las Vegas and Nevada:
Your Alternative Travel Guide to Sin City and the Silver State

Web Watch loves visiting Las Vegas.

Then again, we also agree with our friends who say that “a little Las Vegas goes a long way”.  In other words, these people don’t necessarily enjoy the entire gambling, casino, nightlife, gambling aspect of Sin City.

Web Watch knows people that took a vacation out to Nevada and other points west, and their Las Vegas experience consisted solely of driving down the Las Vegas Strip.  They didn’t stop, they didn’t browse.  They had lunch as a nearby McDonald’s (not even at the In-n-Out!) before continuing on their merry way.

We don’t blame them.  There are aspects of Las Vegas that we don’t appreciate either.  But to each their own.

But then the Nevada Gaming Control Board decided to come out with their compilation of revenue numbers and financial analysis of the 2011 gambline business, and the numbers look a bit unusual to us here at Web Watch.

In 2011, the NEVADA CASINO INDUSTRY POSTED A RECORD LOW gambling revenue number.  This means that the total amount of wagered money spent in Nevada casinos was the lowest number they’ve ever seen… a total of 46.2% of total revenue.

That’s right.

Less than 50% of the Nevada casino industry’s revenues came from gaming last year.

So where have the casinos been making their money?

Along with the record low for gaming revenue, there was a record high for “food, beverage, and other”, at 34.1% of revenue.   Yeah, so there’s another 20% of revenue that’s not listed in the report we looked at.  Eh.

How else did people spend their money while in Vegas, if it wasn’t spent on gambling?  $1.5 billion was spent on beverages, if that gives you an idea of what Web Watch has been watching on TruTV’s VEGAS STRIP series.  Yeah, a lot of drunks wander the Strip late at night.

The casinos on the Strip brought in $14.5 billion dollars.   According to this article there are 41 casinos that comprise the Las Vegas Strip.  Web Watch didn’t think that there were that many, but after looking at the STRIP and CLOSE TO STRIP listing here, we counted 40 without even thinking.  That’s a whole lot of places to spend some cash…

So it should come as no surprise that casinos are continuing to tweak their on-property amenities to eliminate as many “free” services as they can and replace them with options that are more financially lucrative (such as more pricey nightclubs or gambling space).  For example, the MGM Grand’s free Lion Habitat exhibit is scheduled to close on January 31st.  Rumor on the street is that when the rented space came up for contract renewal, the new rate was too expensive for the lions’ owners to keep going at the MGM.   Whether that’s what actually happened or not isn’t important here — that the Las Vegas casinos are working hard to keep their product offerings up-to-date in an ever-changing environment is.