Monday, August 31, 2009

Legislation won't necessarily help casinos if the overall economy is sour

Last year, the initiative process was used to increase the number of slot machines at various Inland Empire casinos. (As I previously noted in my mrontemp blog, Inland Empire tribes often depend upon casino revenue to improve atrocious living conditions.) But this increase in slot machine authorizations didn't necessarily help these casinos against their competition.

[Las Vegas] has slashed room rates and is using promotions to make clear that a bargain vacation is possible, even if it's a five- to six-hour drive away from most Inland residents.

And what happened?

In the first half of the year, the number of people driving from Southern California to Las Vegas via Interstate 15 was up 3.5 percent -- 37,882 cars on average each day, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

But what about the extra slot machines?

No tribal casinos have maxed out the amount of slot machines they're allowed because local housing markets collapsed and the unemployment rate rose....

More information here.

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