Las Vegas casinos are focusing on upscale gamblers — and making a record amount of revenue.
The amount of gambling revenue brought in by casinos on the Las Vegas Strip hit a record total of nearly $8.3 billion in 2022 — a total nearly 25% higher than that seen before the pandemic, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Monday (May 29).
Blackjack players alone lost nearly $1 billion on the Strip last year — a total second only to that seen in 2007, according to the report.
Overall gambling revenue reached that record total despite there being fewer visitors to the city than there were in 2019, the report said.
That’s not to say that the tourism trade in the city is hurting, though. Prices for hospitality and entertainment have surged, and that hasn’t kept visitors away, per the report.
The growth in gambling revenue is outpacing that of the number of visitors due in part to casinos catering high rollers, according to the report.
As part of that drive, casinos have raised the minimum bets during times when the tables are busy. Because the tables are already full, they aim to make room for the higher value customers, the report said.
Lower-priced bets are becoming more difficult for the casinos to offer because of the rising cost of labor, according to the report.
As a result, casinos have reduced the number of blackjack tables managed by dealers by about one-fifth over the last decade while adding electronic tables games for visitors who are looking for lower minimum bets, the report said.
Those tables, together with the slot machines with which they are grouped when totaling gambling revenue, also brought in a record amount of revenue for the casinos in 2022. At $4.6 billion that year, they brought in 15% more than they did in 2021, which had been a record year as well, per the report.
This growth comes at a time when casinos have started to embrace cashless payments methods.
PYMNTS research has found that consumers want their disbursements through a variety of methods, with instant payments being the most popular.
The portion of consumers wanting to receive disbursements via instant payments grew from 40% in 2020 to 47% in 2022, according to the “Disbursements Satisfaction Report 2022,” a PYMNTS and Ingo Money collaboration.
The rise in gambling revenue on the Las Vegas Strip is also happening at a time when online sports betting is growing too.
One player in that space, DraftKings, increased its revenue by 84% in the first quarter as more states legalized online sportsbook and iGaming wagering.