US casinos may not be seeing the boom times they experienced in the mid 2000s but 2011 saw a small improvement in their financial picture, with the overall market on pace to show a small uptick of 2-3% as compared to 2010.
Nevada is still king of the US states that offer casinos as far as revenue, with gross gaming revenue in 2011 of $10.7 billion -- an increase of 2.8% over 2010. Much of that growth came from Las Vegas casinos, which have weathered the economic storms of late better than other Nevada casinos in Reno and other cities.
Las Vegas casinos have also benefited from increased overall visitor traffic to the city, with conventions picking up again and many casino operators seeing increased profits from their shopping, restaurants, and entertainment offerings.
It was a very different story for Atlantic city casinos, which saw the fifth straight year of declining gambling revenues, with gross revenue in 2011 slipping nearly 7% to $3.3 billion. Atlantic City’s older casinos have seen many patrons choose instead to visit newer casinos in Pennsylvania, with in 2010 expanded its gambling options to include more table games and has increasingly taken gambling dollars away from Atlantic City.
2011 gambling revenues in Pennsylvania came in at a record $3 billion, a whopping 22% increase over 2010. The state is poised to pass Atlantic City in 2012 as the US’ second largest gambling market, with gains fueled by the expansion in table games as well as an increased number of casinos.
Some US states have yet to report their 2011 revenues but as of November 2011 the total was $32.5 billion, up about 2% over 2010. Those figures don’t include Indian tribe casinos around the country, which are estimated to pull in about $26 billion on their own.
Analysts are predicting more of the same in 2012, with small improvements in the overall picture but likely no huge gains for casinos as many US states still grapple with the effects of the recession and stubbornly high unemployment rates.