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Reasons to Visit Vegas Shifting as Online Gaming Increases in Popularity

29 March 2011 by admin

There is no way around it. Online gambling in the United States, despite being technically illegal, is still on the rise. And while online gambling is not the only reason behind the drop in revenue in Las Vegas, it is a contributing factor.

The US is experiencing a shift in how its citizens choose to gamble—the method if you will. It used to be that citizens had to travel to cities such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City in order to play poker, blackjack, slot machines or other casino game favorites. Gambling was a part of vacations there and the point of purpose behind trips to Vegas. But online gambling has provided a much more convenient means of playing a favorite casino game. But even online gambling is going through a shift of its own as mobile technology advances.

So done on the home computer or on a mobile device, the point is that gambling is a lot more accessible than it used to be. This is resulting in a decline in trips to the Mecca of gambling, Las Vegas. Although online gambling cannot be entirely to blame for the decline in visitors and revenue; the US is attempting to come out of a recession, and people do not vacation as much or as far away during a recession as they do in times of a good economy. So lack of money or a lack of employment is also a contributing factor in the down turn in Vegas’ revenue.

I have two thoughts on the position Vegas is in as a partial result of online gambling.

One, Vegas needs to shift its tourism. Sure people still make the trek to the gambling Mecca to gamble in world famous casinos. But the shows, shopping and other attractions are also pulling in a greater deal of attention than they used to. It is possible for a state to generate revenue from tourism sources other than gambling and casinos. Take a look at Florida—a large chunk of their revenue is dependent on people visiting non-gambling attractions such as the Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando.

In fact, it is probably the other attractions in Vegas that are its saving grace right now. Take a look Atlantic City. The second in line in US gambling destinations is suffering greatly from a decline in visitors and revenue; and they do not have other diversions to offer visitors, other reasons for tourists to come to town. Perhaps if Atlantic City did they might not be hurting as hard as they are right now.

My other thought on the position Vegas is in has to do with legalizing online gambling in Nevada. I know, we have been down this road many times. But really think about it. Allowing the Nevada casinos to partner with online gambling operators to offer online casino portals to patrons has the serious potential to increase revenue for the casinos and thusly for the state.

New Jersey had it right in its intrastate gambling bill: limit online gambling operations to partnerships with brick and mortar casinos. Revenue comes in to the casino in that way. They would also have the potential to still offer comps to entice online players to visit their resorts, pulling in more revenue. And the state then benefits due to an increase in taxes received from casinos who are generating more money.

Were Vegas to follow that sort of online gambling legislation, and given the scope of gambling operations and the number of casinos, there is serious potential to not only bring revenue levels back to where they were, but to surpass them. Even if the US were to repeal the UIGEA and legalize online gambling on a federal level, it is likely that the financial state of Vegas could improve.

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