Survey results show visitors to Las Vegas are gambling less than ever

Apr 8, 2017 |
The LVCVA recently released the study of visitors in Las Vegas from 2016 and there are quite a few interesting figures for gamblers.
The LVCVA recently released the study of visitors in Las Vegas from 2016 and there are quite a few interesting figures for gamblers.
Every year the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) releases a profile of people who visited Las Vegas the previous year. It’s always interesting to see how the average person visiting Las Vegas spends their time and money.

This profile is the average of 3,600 randomly selected visitors throughout the year. The information isn’t specific to one person or even an exact representation of the nearly 43 million people who visited Las Vegas in 2016.

It takes a special person who is willing to take time out of their Las Vegas vacation to answer a survey. However, the information gathered is good for building a broad picture of the average person visiting Las Vegas.

Translating this into sports betting terms, consider the respondents to be the most “square” visitors to Las Vegas. The LVCVA recently released the study of visitors in Las Vegas from 2016 and there are quite a few interesting figures for gamblers.

Fewer People Visiting Las Vegas Are Gambling

Fewer people gambled last year as 69% of all visitors said they gambled while in Las Vegas. That’s a decrease from 73% of visitors who gambled in 2015. There could be a lot of reasons for this result but changing preferences of younger visitors is a good place to start.

Nearly one-third of visitors to Las Vegas in 2016 were considered millennials. That’s an increase from 24% in 2015. Word on the street is that millennials don’t like to gamble.

This may also be the result of poor gambling experiences. I can attest to this notion. The increase in poor odds and rules, limited complimentary cocktails and machine games holding a higher percentage of money wagered are just a few examples of why some people may gamble less than before. I’ve written numerous times about this over the past couple of years. I'm already prepared for an update to this story in a few months.

Visitors in Las Vegas explored more than just the Vegas Strip. Expect this continue and for gamblers looking for a better experience to play more in the downtown Las Vegas casinos. Not only are the limits often lower but the rules and payouts are more player friendly.

More People Are Spending Less Time Gambling

Among those who gambled while in Las Vegas, 71% gambled for two hours or less in 2016. That’s a significant increase from 50% of visitors gambling for the same period in 2015. If the games return less money, that will decrease how long people will spend at the tables or machines on a similar budget.

This is an average of all gamblers. Sports bettors aren't immune to shorter gambling either, however, there may be different reasons. The introduction of in-game wagering, quarters, props and 1 or 5 inning bets give ample opportunities to have wagers resolved quickly. As I mentioned on a recent baseball betting live stream, I like to make 5 inning wagers for baseball in hopes that the casino is theoretically paying for dinner that evening.

People Who Gamble Are Budgeting More Money. Kinda.

Among those who gambled in 2016, the average gambling budget was $619.01. That’s up from $484.70 in 2012, $529.57 in 2013 and $530.11 in 2014. The average visit to Las Vegas is just over two days so on average visitors have a budget of about $300 per day.

The most striking news in gambling budgets are the high and low roller decreases and increases last year, respectively. In 2016, 23% of gamblers said they budgeted $600 or more per visit to Las Vegas. That’s down from 2015 where 30% of gamblers budgeted that much money.

On the other side of the spectrum, low rollers are on the rise! In 2014 and 2015 only 15% of visitors budgeted $99 or less for gambling. That nearly doubled in 2016 when 25% of visitors budgeted less than $100 for their entire visit to Las Vegas.

Gambling in Las Vegas has been changing a lot over the years and it continues to change. In the next few weeks, I'll explore new ways of gambling in Las Vegas that are just hitting casinos. It's an exciting time if you're the kind of person that likes shiny new things. Likewise, it's probably a tough time if you don't like change.
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