US Recession Hits Gambling PatternsPublished June 30, 2008 by OCR Editor
The current global recession has affected casinos in a way that few had foreseen. The analysis of this behavior is largely due to changes in the makeup of the gambling public.
A Safe Bet in a Recession
Traditionally, gambling establishments such as large casino and bookmaking operations, had weathered the economic boom and bust. Professional investors would incorporate casino stocks in their portfolios as a more or less safe bet. Recent reports have begun to question the wisdom of such blind faith.
Casino operations across the US have begun to tighten their belts. With casinos reporting losses in their business of up to 10% since the start of 2008, firings of highly paid senior managers has begun. Drops in on-table income speak louder than words it's got casino operators are worried.
Insult to Injury
As if the economic impact wasn't enough, many land-based casinos are seeing business drift off from casinos as new smoking bans turn away patrons addicted to the tobacco leaf.
in the US
The casino business downturn has not just affected the United States. In the United Kingdom, a European gambling haven, bookmaker giants William Hill and Ladbrokes have reported significant year on year losses. Barring continued growth in specific locations such as Macau, the downturn effect is global.
Different Kinds of Punters
The explanation for the drop in gambling activity is largely attributed to the change in gambling patrons. Traditionally the hunting grounds of hardened career gamblers, casinos are now attracting tourists and less professional kinds of game players. As such, when the economy takes a turn for the worse, the amateurs fly the coop.
Meeting the challenges head on, gambling operators have invested heavily in online gambling activities, which is one area of continued growth in the recession. The gambling public hasn't gone away; it's just changed its game play.