Less Gambling and More Clubbing Is the Newest Las Vegas Trend

By Zachary Siegel 04/22/15

Despite tourism going up, Las Vegas casinos have seen a drop in revenue.

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Gambling in Sin City is now becoming an after-thought for many first-time travelers. Seeing live entertainment, going to a wedding or convention, or merely visiting family and friends are what destination goers are reported to most likely be doing in Las Vegas, according to the latest survey.

As hotel occupancy rates and tax revenue increased, gaming revenue for Clark County dropped from $9.7 billion in 2013 to $9.5 billion in 2014, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Recently, 300 visitors were surveyed by the Bureau and found those who said gambling was the primary purpose for their trip to Vegas fell from 15% in 2013 to just 12% last year. This change in reason for travel is happening while the number of visitors to Las Vegas have increased from 39.7 million in 2013 to 41 million in 2014.

These stats show that Vegas is adaptable, according to Heidi Hayes, spokeswoman for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Las Vegas has long been known to evolve to make sure that we have something for everyone and we will continue to evolve to make sure we are delivering on the brand promise and providing a great experience for everyone."

Despite a decrease in the amount of gambling, Vegas is still lauded as America’s playground for adults. Stephen Brown Ph.D, a researcher at University of Nevada, Las Vegas told CNBC’s Money Talks that, “The younger generation is a little bit more entertainment focused and less focused on gambling than the older generation."

Brown also mentioned that strip clubs were no longer the focus of the city. millennials, who make up a large portion of Vegas visitors, now prefer “day clubs” where top DJs' spin at pool parties.

According to Money Talks, clubgoers on average spend $837 a night and many spend a lot more when it comes to VIP partying.

Whether or not visitors to Vegas go for the gambling or clubbing, America’s affair with Vegas is alive and well. It’s been voted among the top travel destinations for the past three years straight.

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Zachary Siegel is a freelance journalist specializing in science, health and drug policy. His reporting has also appeared in Slate, The Daily Beast, Salon, Huffington Post, among others. He writes often about addiction, sometimes drawing from his own experience. You can find out more about Zachary on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter.