August 2008 was the eighth consecutive months of falling numbers for Las Vegas, the gambling capital of the United States. Compared with the same month last year, casino revenues were down by over eight percent, or eighty-two million. Those establishments located on the Strip, the epicenter of gambling activity, saw their figures tumble by more than seven percent. For the year to date, slot machine and other forms of casino gambling revenues are down six-point-eight percent. It’s been twenty-four years since the state gaming board began keeping records, and the losses this year have been the most significant in that timeframe. In August 2007, total Nevada gambling income was just over one billion dollars. Now, it’s down to nine hundred eighty-four million. For casinos on the Strip, income has fallen from five hundred thirty-three million to four hundred ninety-four million this August.
The diminished gambling numbers are bad news for more than just casino owners and operators. Less casino proceeds coming in means less of a tax harvest for the state, which means that Nevada’s budget has shrunk. Nevada authorities estimate that their income from state casinos is down more than six percent.
The disturbing trend is undoubtedly a product of the troubled American economy. Land casino establishments throughout the country have been taking hits as people have trouble justifying the money to travel to these entertainment destinations. On the other hand, online slot machines and other forms of internet casino gambling have seen a spike, as if players are substituting these diversions for their brick-and-mortar counterparts.