Nevada has added to the air of optimism surrounding the US casino business industry after reporting a rise in revenues for the second successive month. Gaming revenues for the state as a whole rose by 7.1% in November to $880.1million, almost $60m more than a year ago ($822m). The Las Vegas strip accounted for over half of this, revenues rising 9% to $495.3m compared with the previous year and reflected the clamor by states to jump on the casino bandwagon.
Earlier today we saw a similar situation in Atlantic City where gaming revenues entered the black for the first time in a little over three years. It shows the two US casino strongholds are either starting to weather the storm or looking on the bright side of death depending on which way you look at it.
What Vegas and AC casino business interests don’t like the look of are plans being laid by a number of states for gambling industry expansion. New York, in particular, has got the Sin City’s goat and a number its largest firms are drawing up battle plans in the East Coast state. The list includes Las Vegas Sands Corp, MGM Resorts International, and Boyd Gaming, a firm that already has feelers out in Albany. A New York-based casino-industry lobbyist said: “They’re waking up from a slumber and trying to figure out what to do.”
Their hand has been forced by Governor Cuomo’s aggressive stance in favor of expansion. He’s already approved a convention centre and casino complex in Queens run by Asian casino behemoth Genting Malaysia and there could be more. It might all be too little too late for the big Vegas casino firms as the quick thinking Asian firm looks to have swept up a number of lobbyists in its efforts for expansion in North America.