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Las Vegas Gambling Revenue Has Major Increase In January

Las Vegas casinos have been stuck in a financial rut for more than three years, and analysts had predicted that it may take until the end of 2012 before the industry fully recovers from the economic recession. Revenue figures from January, however, indicate that the turnaround may happen much quicker than anticipated.

In January, revenue on the Las Vegas Strip increased 29 percent, to $623.5 million. The increase came surprisingly, not from slots and blackjack, but from baccarat. The high rollers were out in January, helping the casinos gain optimism about the speed of the recovery.

"This is the kind of percentage increase that could start a snowball effect for Las Vegas casinos over the next couple of months," said Gaming Analyst Brad Dawkins. "Las Vegas is a city that has always thrived off of momentum, and if they can put two, three, four good months together, it could lead to a strong second half of the year and beyond."

On the fiscal year, the improvement has been slow. Revenue is up almost six percent on the fiscal year, an increase over the previous year, but still not enough for the industry to proclaim victory over the recession. Still, the improvement is enough to have gaming executives believe the worst could be behind them.

The Chinese New Year has, in the past, been a big week for Las Vegas casinos. With Macau casinos taking many Asian players away from Las Vegas, Sin City has had to rely on the Asian community within the US to drive Chinese New Year gambling, and this year they came through. The revenue for January was the highest it has been for any month since September of 2008, spanning over two years.

Several conventions also helped drive the January revenue figures for Las Vegas casinos. The Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show, and the Consumer Electronics Show were both big contributors to the revenue gain. The World of Concrete convention had higher numbers than expected, adding to the revenue increase.

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