Despite the fact that the number of visitors in Las Vegas increased 2.5 percent last year compared to 2014, the gambling revenue remained almost the same. A whooping total of 42.3 million tourists visited Sin City in 2015, 1.2 million more tourists than in 2014.
The gambling revenue, on the other hand, grew only 0.7 percent for the same period. The revenue is actually dropping 0.4 percent year over year on the Strip, but last year it was helped by the increase in the downtown area. It appears that the non gambling market is more popular for visitors than the slots and table games in the casinos.
Nevertheless, gambling giants such as Las Vegas Sands and MGM Resorts are betting on the new non gambling economy and see it as an opportunity to diversify their businesses. According to the figures, hotels, live entertainment revenues and restaurants in Las Vegas are growing at a faster pace than gambling. In particular, there is a rise in convention space usage, and in 2015 it surged over 13 percent over 2014. Over the year, more than 21,000 business meetings and conventions were held hosting almost 6 million attendees.
With this in mind, MGM Resorts is making upgrades with the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, that is soon to be finished. The meeting space is now more than 2 million square feet. The company also announced its plans to expand the convention space at its Aria facility. Moreover, MGM Resorts will soon complete its huge multi-purpose arena close to the Strip.
Las Vegas Sands also wants to profit from the non gambling opportunities in Las Vegas. The company has recently announced its plans to join a group building an outdoor stadium worth $1.2 billion located east of the Strip. The property will likely be the home of the University of Nevada, the NCAA football team of Las Vegas. The stadium will also be used for other purposes such as concerts or conventions.