Fitch Ratings published a gambling industry research Wednesday, claiming regional casinos are bouncing back and gradually heading towards pre-closure levels. The rating agency noted, though, that for Las Vegas the road to recovery would be slow, projecting 2024 as the year the gambling Mecca would reach its 2019 revenue levels.
Reliance on Convention, Tourism and Airline Traffic
Fitch believes Las Vegas will be the global gaming and hospitality destination that would have the slowest recovery, due to its reliance on inbound visitation. Despite that gaming declines were not that severe, about two-thirds of Las Vegas Strip’s revenue is generated through non-gaming activities and require convention and tourism to rebound.
The rating agency sees the recent easing of group restrictions as a positive step in the direction for recovery, but does not see convention business picking up or airline traffic increasing until a permanent solution to the health issue is available. Presently, air capacity is limited to around 60% of pre-pandemic levels, but airlines represent the most viable means of access to Las Vegas.
Strip Business Unlikely to Recover Through 2022
The rating agency’s analysts project Strip’s overall gaming revenues to be down 60% in 2020, 50% in 2021, and 20% in 2022, compared to the levels recorded in 2019. Unlike casinos on the Strip, regional gaming establishments have rebounded since their re-opening began in May, Fitch noted. For August, regional gaming revenues were down 16% year-on-year, excluding New York, and the agency is assuming the decline would