Las Vegas casinos are surprisingly unprofitable
Last update: March 2018
You'd be forgiven if you imagined that casinos rake in the profits hand over fist. After all, every game is set up in the house's favor, so why shouldn't they? Well, surprisingly, lots of casinos struggle, and a fair number actually go bankrupt. While they take in a lot of customer money, expenses are high, including employees, utilities, and the loan payment on the building. Here's a rundown of some notable struggles with profit.
Revenue is plummeting
One reason casinos are doing so poorly is that gambling revenues are going down. This is attributed to older gamblers passing on and not being replaced by as many millennials.
|Gambling revenue is plummeting|
|Peak (2007)||$6.8B • 49,891 machines||$12.8B • 174,677 machines|
|2015||$6.3B • 42,703 machines||$11.1B • 149,364 machines|
Lucky Dragon goes bankrupt 15 months after opening
Lucky Dragon was the first resort property to be built from the
ground-up after the Cosmopolitan in 2010. It opened in
November 2016, shuttered the casino in Jan. 2018, and filed for
bankruptcy in Feb. 2018. The hotel is still operating as of
SLS faces bankruptcy
SLS, which replaced the Sahara, hasn't turned a profit since it
opened in 2014. As of Dec. 2017, it's reportedly facing
Caesars files for bankruptcy
Caesars Entertainment, which owns 10 properties on the Strip and is
the largest U.S. casino operator, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in
Jan. 2015, erasing about $10 billion in debt. (It's funny how
they can use legal maneuvers to get out of paying what they owe,
while if you stole a $5 chip from the casino you'd go to
jail.) It emerged from bankruptcy in Oct. 2017.
Riviera goes bankrupt and closes
A popular strip casino which appeared in several movies, it filed
for bankruptcy in 2010, closed for good in 2015, and was demolished
MGM Resorts loses hundreds of millions of dollars
MGM Resorts, which owns a whopping 10 of the 29 strip casinos, suffered the following losses:
LV Revealed's Las Vegas Casino Death Watch is comprehensive reporting on casino troubles and closings.