Experts are predicting that gaming revenue across Las Vegas casinos will decline next year before experiencing a rebound in 2024. A report from Fitch Ratings suggests that the Nevada gaming resort will see takings from the gaming tables fall by up to 10% as part of a wider economic retrenchment. This expectation is based on knowledge of upcoming gaming numbers and room occupancy, with the wider global economy experiencing a general retraction. It is also essentially in line with other financial predictions for other sectors.
The report did indicate that 2024 would see growth return to the LV gaming sector, although counseling that the percentage growth score would be in the single figures as far as percentage points go. 2023’s numbers would also come on the heels of a broadly successful 2022, which has seen record income for the casino industry in the state. While the 2023 slump is garnering the headlines, the overall picture painted by the report will be welcomed as broadly positive.
A wider cost of living crisis is currently being experienced in many economies across the world, with factors including the longer impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine driving consumer prices up along with an increase in domestic and business energy bills. It is felt that the USA remains better placed to weather this crisis than many of the countries in Europe, which may account for the overall positivity of Fitch’s forecasts. It is also felt that even in the case of a fall in numbers next year, the full impact will be considerably less severe than in the 2008-9 financial crisis.
While news on the gaming front is less than positive in the immediate term, the casino gaming resorts are not expected to fall on particularly hard times in the rest of this year, as their conference-ready facilities are expected to be in demand throughout the upcoming period. In many cases, events that were initially intended to take place in 2020 and 2021 are being rescheduled for next year having been canceled at the height of the pandemic.
This likely uptick in convention income is expected to provide a financial soft landing for the affected resorts and also constitute the springboard for a positive return in the longer term for casino activity. An obvious caveat to that argument would be that a tightening of spending by corporations – which isn’t currently forecast but may arise if consumer spending is hit more harshly than expected – could lead to a longer recession and deeper financial impacts.
Certainly, confidence in the future viability of Las Vegas’ casino industry does not seem to have been dented by recent setbacks. New hotels are currently under construction and along with the overhaul of facilities at the Mirage, these are expected to add between 2 and 4% to the capacity on offer in Sin City. While caution is being recommended for the 18 months to come, the overall trend is expected to remain optimistic.