The trend is continuing and growing at Strip casinos that make more money off their rooms, restaurants and entertainment than from the table games and slots.
“Spending patterns are changing,” Michael Lawton, (senior research analyst for the control board) told the forum. His chart showed that since 1999, the nongaming revenues have surpassed the games and slots.
Nongaming revenues have been increasing every year for 13 years and Las Vegas casinos are finally deciding to follow those changes in consumer preference on a large-scale.
Looking back, when the Cosmopolitan opened in December 2010 it may have been a sign that things would be different in Las Vegas. Their focus has been on creating a casino to eat, drink and party. Not a casino to gamble.
While people (including me) looked at their poor gaming revenue as being bad for the casino, they may be looked at as a trail blazer for the new Las Vegas – even if they are sold and losing tons of money every quarter. Their short-term losses may become long-term a win.
We’re seeing sportsbooks get smaller (at Flamingo) because they don’t generate the same revenue that renting space to a place selling $15 margaritas does (at Carlos & Charlies). Sportsbooks are being farmed out to companies like William Hill or Cantor Gaming and streamlined to the point where they may be obsolete in the future.
While some slot machines are being taken off the floor for electronic table games some of that space is also being devoted to new restaurants.
Thankfully there are still gaming tables for people like me but expect less of the Vegas casino to be devoted to that kind of fun since that seems to be what the majority of customer money is being spent on.
More changes later this week as we head downtown.