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Casino Update: Gambling Down, Tourism Up in Vegas

National Hotel
Casino Update: Gambling Down, Tourism Up in Vegas

A record number of visitors hit Las Vegas this year, but they continued a trend of skipping the tables for restaurants, shops and nightclubs. Gambling revenue on the Strip shrunk by 2.1% last year, to $6.37B, reversing a four-year recovery from the recession. Most troublingly, baccarat revenue declined by 7.1%. after years of success driven by deep-pocketed Asian tourists.

Yet a record 41.1M people visited Sin City, up a healthy 3.7% from 2013. And total revenue on the Strip surged 5%, to $16.3B, besting the previous record from 2007 of $15.8.

Meanwhile, it was almost all bad news for Atlantic City. Casino employees from the troubled East Coast gambling hub protested in Manhattan over benefit and pension cuts proposed by activist investor Carl Icahan as he aims to revive the Trump Taj Mahal, which filed bankruptcy last fall. On a more optimistic note, casino operator Hard Rock International has expressed interest in AC and is reportedly mulling a relationship with the failed Revel resort.