Las Vegas sees gaming surge

LAS VEGAS - New gaming numbers show gamblers are willing to bet big on the Strip.

According to the UNLV Center for Gaming Research, Las Vegas Strip casinos experienced a 155 percent jump in revenue from last year, mainly due to baccarat play. Foreign high rollers, many from Asia, come to Las Vegas and bet big money on the card game

It isn't just high rollers spending their money. Experts say more tourists are traveling to Las Vegas for other forms of entertainment - from dining, to shows to retail.

Major resorts are responding. New properties are popping up along the Strip. The Cromwell recently opened at Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road. Meanwhile, the SLS on Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue is set to open in a few weeks.

"It's a diverse mix of product that's coming to the market," said Applied Analysis principal Brian Gordon. "Some of it is rebranding and redevelopment of existing products. So, on a net basis, we're not adding a lot of room inventory. At the same time, we're also adding a lot of other amenities, non-gaming amenities."

According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Las Vegas is also seeing a record number of tourists. Nearly 3.5 million people came here in June, beating the previous record set in 2012. If Las Vegas stays on its current pace, visitor numbers could reach a record high of 41 million people by the end of the year.

Experts say in order for Strip revenue to keep increasing, Las Vegas needs a mix of high rollers and average tourists.

Gaming analysts expect more action on the north end of the Strip. SLS is scheduled to open August 23rd. The All Net Arena and Resort is planned for vacant land just south of SLS. The $4 billion Resorts World Las Vegas near Las Vegas Boulevard and Convention Center Drive is under construction. Finally, developers are planning a new resort on the site of the old Frontier Hotel and Casino.


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