Time to Ease up on Building of Land Based Casinos?
While traditionally the land based casino industry has been built on the fact that they provide a great revenue stream for the state, provide plenty of employment and of course deliver great entertainment, there are now calls by many groups in the US who believe that there are simply enough of them. Those two main selling points of jobs and tax revenue mean that it’s highly likely that casinos will never go away, however is the continuing expansion of land based casino entertainment a good thing, and isn’t is the case that increased competition means that casino games players simply move from one casino to the other without any real growth? That may be the case for casino games players, but that’s not the whole picture. Due to the fact that modern casinos offer a whole lot more than just casino games means that dining, live music and comedy, as well as hotel room stays make a real case for casino growth and expansion. The fact that many new casinos are more like entertainment complexes than traditional style casinos means that gambling is simply a part of what they offer, and not the be all and end all. It may be more of a case of out with the old and in with the new and that natural competition means that entertainment style complexes such as the new Maryland Live! lead the way.
Signs of Struggle or Transition?There are of course areas in the US that are expanding the casino industry and along with that areas where gambling numbers are in decline. We’ve seen falling gambling revenues recently in traditional gambling cities such as Atlantic City, however isn’t that a sign that people are getting their entertainment elsewhere and that casinos need to adapt to ‘people’ not ‘gamblers’ wishes? Let’s take the example of Delaware. Delaware’s gambling revenue has dropped significantly due to the fact that casinos have opened in other states in close proximity with Maryland being the main one. It’s reported that gambling in Delaware is a breaking point due to the fact that Maryland Live! is up and running and taking customers from Delaware’s Dover Downs. Before Maryland Live! opened its doors around one third of Dover Downs revenue was from players from Maryland, and of course that has stopped, but lets look at the bigger picture here. Maryland Live! is booming not just because it’s in Maryland, it’s booming because of what it is....a modern facility that boasts a whole lot more than just a casino and with $500 Million spent on it, it delivers more than a game of blackjack! Yes, Dover Downs is a good casino and a fine establishment but Maryland Live! offers more, and more to the point it offers more to ‘people’ and not to ‘gamblers’. The casino industry has changed a whole lot in recent years and of course large Vegas casinos got it right from day one, however elsewhere in the US it’s a case of playing catch up, and as many new casinos are doing, it’s about looking at the much bigger picture and not how many slots and table games can be fit into a certain amount of square feet, and with the expansion of online casinos in many states, including Delaware, there's even more competition to come.
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