|Note: The first Nevada online (interactive) gaming website did not come on-line until April 20, 2013. Delaware and New Jersey did not offer online gaming until November 2013.|
The regional markets continue to see revenue declines as gaming alternatives gain attention. The states that have experienced gaming revenue growth benefitted from gaming expansion that included significant new casinos openings or the introduction of table games within the last 12 months.
The story of Atlantic City and the Las Vegas Strip provides a great example of how government investment in infrastructure is critical for a gaming market’s long-term success. Up until 2007, both cities enjoyed relatively consistent growth; since 2007, there has been a stark contrast in two cities.
The Atlantic City market peaked at $5.2 billion in 2006 and has fallen 43.6 percent to become a $2.9 billion market at the end of 2013. On January 1, 2014, there were 12 casinos operating in Atlantic City; today only eight casinos remain open with another closure scheduled for mid-November.
The Las Vegas Strip peaked in 2007 at $6.8 billion. After enduring the recession in 2008 and 2009, the city has steadily regained momentum, setting an all-time visitation record in 2012. At the end of 2013, the gaming market returned to within 5 percent of the peak established in 2007. Confidence continues to remain high for growth as The Strip is in the midst of a construction boom.
Since the start of 2014, the Las Vegas Strip has experienced a number of additions, including the opening of SLS Las Vegas, the finalizing of plans from the Genting Group to build a $4 billion casino-resort and purchase of land by James Packer to develop a new resort.
The difference in the tale for each city centers on local government’s investment in the local infrastructure.
Since opening casinos in 1978, Atlantic City casino tax revenues have been used to fund government projects across the state, not just within the city of Atlantic City. Although there are 70 million people living within a one-hour flight from Atlantic City, the city’s gaming industry is quickly becoming obsolete against continued regional gaming expansion.
Conversely, the state of Nevada has continuously invested casino gaming tax revenues in the city of Las Vegas infrastructure. Continued investment has allowed Las Vegas to transform from a gambling town to a vacation destination.
Today, Las Vegas attracts more than 40 million visitors each year, equating to approximately 20 times the population of Clark County (the county in which Las Vegas resides).