Home NewsCasino Families are the future of Las Vegas, and they are the kids.

Families are the future of Las Vegas, and they are the kids.

by
46 views 14 minutes read


Buck Wargo writes that increased family visits to Las Vegas are becoming more common as the international travel industry recovers.

Families continue to be a large part of Las Vegas’s visitors, despite the return of international travelers following the outbreak. The city is evolving beyond its status as the gambling capital of the globe.

Las Vegas had reported that only 5% (of its 2019 visitors) were parents. The jump from 5% to 21% by 2021, was originally attributed as an anomaly to remote working and virtual classrooms.

New figures show that a new demographic will be here for a while. Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s (LVCVA) annual survey shows families make up the same percentage of visitors as they did in 2022.

Was once thought of as a one-off, but has become a growing trend. Las Vegas is doubling down its efforts to bring families more entertainment, including sporting events. LVCVA officials admit that this is a surprising statistic. They are now monitoring family percentages to determine if their marketing needs to be adjusted.


How to get rid of the ‘What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas?’

“The city spent a great deal of money and worked hard to get rid of the ‘What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’ motto,” said Corey Padveen. He is a partner at t2 Marketing International. He has tracked this trend, and isn’t surprised.

They made massive investments to turn the area between downtown and the Strip into an Arts District. There’s been a lot of work done to clean up and revitalize downtown, and more activities and events have also been added. The Mob Museum is one example. “They’re showing Vegas to be more than just gambling and parties.”

Downtown Las Vegas is more appealing to families because of the revitalisation.

Padveen thinks the median figure of 16% is the closest to its actual value. He believes there is room for up to 25 percent growth, which would be great for a “city that has been known for being family-averse for most of the past century”.

Padveen continued, noting that no family visited the city in 20 years.

It has the potential to draw more families. Vegas has become a center for the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam as well as Death Valley. “You have an opportunity to attract more families for a visit.”

Padveen says that there have been “huge leaps & bounds” made in the area of family attractions, and investment to make this happen. The more affordable downtown is a big draw for these people.


Can Vegas cater for families?

Oliver Lovat, Denstone Group’s Oliver Lovat says that this is due to the fact that Las Vegas has increased its entertainment and sporting offerings.

We saw a jump in the percentage post-Covid, and when numbers increased to 40,000,000 (overall) visitors a year by 2023 people were still bringing families. Since I can recall, it’s always been single-digit numbers.

Lovat considers 6.5 millions family visitors to be a solid figure, particularly when combined with domestic and international tourists.

Resort operators will have to learn how to attract this audience. Lovat says that the 6.5 million number is similar to convention attendees, which means a great deal of money has been spent to attract this group to the city. He says that operators are not investing enough in international visitors.

Lovat claims that people no longer associate Las Vegas with gambling. Las Vegas was always a destination for those in their mid-30s and late 50s. In the early 1990s, the baby boomers began to arrive with their children and the operators developed for this (in a brief-lived trial at that time).

Now, Gen Xers will be coming with their children.”

Casinos in the city have tried to soften their image before, but with limited success. The MGM Grand Adventures Theme Park was one of its experiments. It opened in 1993 but shut down seven years later.


Las Vegas is a cultural center

The cultural and sports amenities that are springing up in the city have been a success.

Las Vegas will continue to see an influx of family tourists, as the number of international visitors is expected to increase by 39% between 2023 and 2024, with gains from Canada, UK Germany, Australia, and other countries.

In 2023, there were barely 5 million international visitors. This was about 12% of 40.8 million tourists.

Lovat says that international visitors bring their families to Vegas to enjoy the many other activities available. It doesn’t matter if you are from Canada, Mexico or the UK, you will find that your market offers a wide range of products and services unlike any other place in the world.

You had The Sphere opening and Formula One racing in 2023. The Raiders, and the soccer team will make Las Vegas more attractive to foreign visitors.

The music stars flocking to Vegas appeal to a wide demographic

Look at the music stars. “There’s U2, Adele, Kylie Minogue and Taylor Swift, as well as BTS and the Korean boyband,” says he. It’s much more exciting to watch a performance in Las Vegas rather than your own market. It used to only be in the US. Now, it is much more global.

Padveen believes Las Vegas can be an international hub for families. Las Vegas wants to become a destination for family holidays from around the world.


No longer gambling is driving growth

Las Vegas’ casino revenue is not driven by gambling anymore. In the past, gambling accounted for two thirds of casino revenue on Las Vegas Strip. However, that number is now rapidly decreasing.

Nevada Gaming Control Board data shows that revenue from food and beverage services, rooms, and other areas accounted for an all-time high of 73.4% in fiscal 2023, compared to a combined total of 69.6% the previous year. The non-gaming revenue totaled $15bn. This is a record for all time and represents an increase of $2.3bn (17.7%) compared to fiscal year 2022.

Gambling spend is declining as a percentage of revenue from the Las vegas strip

Visitors spent five hours per day on gambling in 1993. By 2023 that number was reduced to just 2.5 hours, despite the fact that visitors had budgeted $788, a record amount, for their trip, up from only $591 prior to the pandemic.

It was only $445 in 1993 but, when inflation is taken into account, the price was increased to $945. This makes it even more expensive than now.

Padveen says that the survey shows a shift from one generation to another in consumer spending. This is good news for Las Vegas’ economy, as it offers a more multi-dimensional experience.

Padveen says that “the numbers of gaming have reached record levels, but they only make up a third of the overall economy.” Las Vegas has a better market position because the range of offerings is so wide and appealing to more people. The economy has become more traditional with gaming as a unique component. It’s great for the city.


How many families is enough?

Lovat says that the challenge facing resort operators is to determine what level of family visitation is sufficient for it to be a segment for which they should develop and program.

Many attractions can be found outside casinos.

The Area15 resort is a destination for families with its interactive attractions. Universal Parks & Resorts has plans to launch a new horror attraction.

Families have long enjoyed the museums, attractions and experiences in Downtown Las Vegas.

Attractions such as the Mob Museum show Vegas visitors don’t need to head to a resort or casino for fun

Lovat says that “others like Area15” have taken advantage by creating entertainment programs where casinos are slow to do so. They have let other people take advantage of that revenue through family-friendly attractions.

However, there has been some progress on this front. MGM Resorts International will open Project 63, in 2023. It is located directly outside the Aria Resort & Casinos. The four-story shopping center includes interactive museums.

There are also more offerings for families in the pipeline.


MLB hits the plate

The demolition of Tropicana in Las Vegas will start in April to prepare for the construction of a new $1.5bn stadium that will be used by the Oakland A’s for their relocation in 2028.

Major League Baseball, the sport which attracts most families to the game is approved by the State of Nevada for $380m.

Brendan Bussmann of B Global Advisors, the managing director, said that Las Vegas offers something to everyone, regardless of their demographic. There are sports enthusiasts, singles, families, executives and business people.

MLB’s Oakland A’s will soon take up residence on the Las Vegas Strip

Las Vegas held several college basketball tournaments in March at various venues throughout the city, attracting thousands of spectators, including families.

Bussmann says that “sports and entertainment have been factors in the growth of family visits.” Sports are twofold. “Sports are twofold.

We sometimes forget that because they are not located on the Strip, there is a variety of sports tournaments for kids in high schools, including soccer, baseball and basketball. We have rooms available for the entire family.

The image of the MGM amusement park has changed since the early 2000s, but it is still a great destination for both families and everyone else.


Las Vegas sports spending

Around 2.5 million visitors (or 6%) attended sporting events during their Las Vegas trip, a significant increase from the 2% of 2018 and the 4% of 2019. These events cost visitors an average of $326.

Bussmann does not see this 16% number falling, given that the stadium will be able to host sporting events and concerts with its 65,000 seats when it opens in 2020. The T-Mobile Arena, where the NHL Golden Knights are based, as well as the MLB stadium and the NBA Arena to attract an expansion team is also available.

Bussmann states that “16% of the population is not a small number.” Bussmann says: “That is a great number.”


What is the typical Vegas visitor like?

Kevin Bagger is vice president at the LVCVA Research Center. He points out that Las Vegas has evolved gradually over the past 40 years.

The average age back then was 47 years old. This number has remained constant over time and is now 43.8.

The percentage of visitors who are baby boomers has dropped from 30 percent before the pandemic, to 14 percent in 2023.

Bagger says that the more young visitors there are, the greater the number of ethnic groups. Bagger adds that 78% of the baby boomers in Las Vegas are white, compared with 69% of Gen X, and 54% of millennials.

Bagger: “We appeal to the changing demographics of the United States.”

In 2019, 28% of visitors had a household earning more than $100,000, while 47% reported having surpassed that threshold. In 2023 21% of tourists will earn $150,000 and more. This is up from just 9% in 2018

In 2023, food and beverage spending will be the highest at $570. Shopping at $414 and local transportation at $250 are next.

In 2023, visitors spent $278 less on shows and entertainment than they did in 2022.


Global economics impacting Vegas visitation

Lovat is a Scotsman and said that his main concern was the fact that European economies are weaker than the US.

Lovat: “They have had huge increases in energy prices and inflation over the past 12 months. Hopefully, when this crisis subsides, Las Vegas’ international visitors will be back.” Formula One attracted a high-end European audience, as we could see in (record) gambling numbers. I believe 2024 will have a much bigger impact than 2023.

Las Vegas was on the screens of everyone in 2023 for The Sphere and Formula One, as well as The Sphere and U2.

They are happy with their experience.

According to the survey, Las Vegas visitors from abroad had their highest expectations met in 2023. The domestic visitor rate was 95%.


An international audience

In 2023, Las Vegas will have attracted 4,74 million international visitors. This represents 11.6% of its 40.8 million tourists in 2018. In 2022, there were 3.4 millions foreign visitors.

Las Vegas’ tourism industry is still recovering from the pre-pandemic levels. The number of visitors from countries outside North America has increased by nearly 46%. In 2019, there were over 5.6 million foreign visitors.

Bussmann says that “international is the best opportunity to grow this destination.” It’s positive, because the length of their stay is longer. This is a bigger spend and you have the chance to make it happen.

We need to keep improving the liftoff of our existing routes and ensure that those planes have full loads.

Buck Wargo, a journalist specializing in gaming and business journalism based out of Las Vegas. Former reporter at the Los Angeles Times, Buck Wargo has a degree in Middle Eastern Studies. He holds a Middle Eastern Studies degree from the University of Texas.

You may also like

About Us

On iGamingWorld, we provide in-depth analysis, the latest news and opinions from famous people of the gaming industry.

Featured Posts

Newsletter