Nine times in the last year, Las Vegas Strip resorts combined for monthly gaming revenue figures that shattered records and set the single-highest one-month total – $792.6 million in July 2021.
But one analyst believes the record-setting run is about to end.
Fitch Ratings Service gaming analyst Colin Mansfield predicted Las Vegas gaming revenue will decline as much as 10 percent during 2023. In a brief report, Mansfield, the firm’s lead gaming analyst, said demand for leisure travel will weaken as part of a broader economic slowdown.
Even if the financial system avoids dire predictions, Mansfield said Strip casinos will be hard-pressed to keep up with torrid numbers produced in the 16 months after the market fully reopened without mandated health and safety requirements and capacity restrictions brought on by the pandemic.
The Strip produced a calendar year gaming revenue record of almost $7.1 billion in 2021 and a fiscal year record of $8.1 billion for the 12 months that ended in June.
“The market is far above pre-pandemic revenue levels. But when you take into consideration the headwinds that are starting to play out, we got to a point where we said, ‘there’s more downside here than upside,'” Mansfield said in an interview.
Even if Fitch’s predicted 10 percent gaming revenue decline takes place, Mansfield said the casino operators “are still making plenty of money.” Gaming companies have greatly reduced their margins – profits generated after accounting for costs – over the past year.
This excerpt originally appeared in Indy Gaming August 17.