Over the past few years, guests at the Las Vegas casinos are not spending as much as they used to before, due to the damaging effects of the recession. The financial crisis had taken a toll even on the casinos, which have now become selective about the gambling options they offer to their visitors in order to increase their revenues. According to a recent report, Las Vegas casino operators are forced to reduce the number of their gaming tables and machines and focus more on offering profitable games, rather than on offering a diverse gaming experience to the visitors.
Number of Slot Machines at Strip Casinos Goes Down
A recent survey by the Center for Gaming Research, UNLV, revealed that over the last decade, the number of slot machines in casinos on Las Vegas Strip has fallen. According to the report, Nevada casinos had removed over 38,000 machines and tables between 2000 and 2012. The number also includes a few poker tables, but majority of it is slot machines.
Analysts say that recession alone cannot be blamed for this, and that there are a number of factors that could have led to this situation. As of October 2013, the number of slot machines has reduced to 45,600, which is 5000 less than the number of slots Nevada casinos had back in 1995. The surprising fact is that the decline in number of slot machines happened in spite of opening of new casinos like Encore, Aria, Cosmopolitan and Wynn, each of which have at least 1800 slot machines each.
During the same period, table games also dropped from around 1100 to a little over 880, stated the report. The report also said there was a decline in poker trend since 2006, when poker’s popularity was at its peak, owing to the World Series of Poker. There was a decline in the baccarat and blackjack tables too, said the report.
Focus to Shift to Table Games
The casino experience is not complete without table games, which play a vital role in generating significant revenues for the casinos. The director of the University of Nevada’s Center for Gaming Research, David G Schwartz, said that the experience of live table games cannot be replicated a hundred percent online, which is why it is important that casinos focus more on their table game players, who are among the wealthier lot.
He added that casinos should not delay in tapping the revenue that table games can generate at present, as in a few more years, the digital gaming experience could get better and there won’t be too many live table game players to take advantage of.
Nevada Table Game Wins Increase
Unlike slot game wins, which have experienced a decline of 2 percent, the table game win percentage in Nevada casinos have actually increased by 20 percent, which is even a better reason why casinos should shift their focus to table games. While both slots and table games revenue was at peak in 2007, revenues began to decline after 2008. In 2007, slot machines in Nevada generated $132.55 for a win a day, per unit, while table games were at $1,997.89. The figures dropped quite a bit to $110.4 for slots and $1673 for table games by the end of 2009. Since, there has been little improvement in slots, which generate only $117.27 in winnings per day, per unit, while the figures for table games for 2013 have crossed the 2000 mark, to reach $2,105.3.
Of the total revenues generated by casinos, over 37 percent came from table games, and on the strip, more than 50% of casino revenues are from table games and the rest is from slots.