Going back to 1970, there has only been ONE OTHER time (since this recent economic downturn) where gambling revenues actually fell -- in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. During that timeframe (2001-2002) gaming revenue fell 1 percent.
So how does the downturn today compare to 9/11?
On the Las Vegas Strip, gaming revenues were down 16.4 percent in May 2007 and down 5.4 percent for the first five months of 2008.
Clark County as a whole was far worse, including a 29 percent drop in North Las Vegas and a 30 percent drop in the Boulder Strip, which includes some casinos in Henderson.
This issue is causing gaming tax collections to plunge -- down 22.8 percent YoY -- the worst drop in at least 10 years -- exacerbating State budget woes.
"This is an incredibly difficult time for the state of Nevada, and it appears that we may need to prepare for an additional shortfall to our general fund for the fiscal year that just began," Gibbons said in a statement.
What's really hard to comprehend is: After 9/11, we saw thousands of hotel/casino layoffs -- yet, even though this downturn is much worse, we've seen very few to date. I therefore expect to see massive casino layoffs between now and Christmas 08 -- it's only a matter of time, as these highly leveraged institutions are taking a beating in the equity markets and will soon need to cut costs and improve bottom-lines.
For those of you who haven't already done so, take a look at these posts for more LV Downturn info: