In my latest Las Vegas Business Press column, I dissect the August 2010 Nevada gaming numbers:
And if your casino doesn't offer baccarat or high-end play, you might be out of luck. With only 22 out of the 329 casinos with nonrestricted licenses in the state 6.7 percent offering the game, only a few are sharing in the baccarat bounty.
via Las Vegas Business Press :: David G. Schwartz : Bounce in baccarat doesn’t signal recovery.
I got an interesting phone call yesterday from a caller who wouldn’t identify herself but still had a very good question: could the rise in gaming revenues be tied to the extension of unemployment benefits?
My first thought was, “I really hope not,” and the nature of the revenues suggests that’s not the case, unless the unemployed are betting big on baccarat. But other revenues are up slightly, and my caller shared an admittedly anecdotal but no less valid example: her neighbor, thanks to the extension, received six weeks worth of checks at once, paid her rent, and gambled much of the rest of it away.
If you multiply that by a few thousand (a big if), you could have a definite bump in gaming revenues, albeit one at taxpayer expense.
You might be able to figure out if this was so by looking at gaming revenues on a day-by-day basis. A big jump in the days after the unemployment checks mail would tend to support the theory. On the other hand, if people from other states are taking their money and vacationing in Vegas, it would be hard to correlate.