Casinos; gaming revenues; Las Vegas Strip; Reno-Sparks; Lake Tahoe


Gaming and Casino Operations Management | Gaming Law

Document Type

Original Research Article


Gaming revenue trends for Nevada's three major gaming markets- Las Vegas Strip, Reno-Sparks, and South Lake Tahoe-are examined over the past two decades. The Las Vegas Strip had been characterized by cyclical growth from 1990 until 2007, but the Great Recession had dramatic adverse impacts on revenues and employment. Apparent recovery in 2010 was driven largely by baccarat revenues, but they are not likely to be sustainable in the long term. For South Lake Tahoe, deterioration of its core tourism business has been taking place since 1990, but has accelerated since the beginning of the Great Recession and the opening of the Red Hawk Casino near Sacramento in 2008. Both Reno-Sparks and South Lake Tahoe have lost approximately two-thirds of their tourism gaming revenues over the past two decades. Reno-Sparks' overall gaming revenues have held up better than South Lake Tahoe because of a substantial locals' gaming market, which is not replicated at South Lake Tahoe. Finally, fiscal and policy implications of these trends are outlined for the State of Nevada.