NFL Lockout could hurt Las Vegas

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Las Vegas has already had a rough time over the past few years as the United States is in the midst of a recession. Things have gotten so bad that the Sahara was forced to close its doors, and the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino had to be bailed out by Brookfield Asset Management and Warner Gaming, LLC. So do things look to get better for the other casinos in Las Vegas? Not likely since the recent NFL lockout threatens casinos even more.

If the NFL Players Association and NFL owners can’t agree on a new contract, it’s likely that there will be no football season in 2011. And with no NFL football season, casinos will be losing millions of dollars in revenue aside from just sports betting.

Lee Amaitis, who is CEO of a company that operates four sportsbooks in Las Vegas, told reporters, “I can’t see us losing a whole NFL season. It won’t be good.” He finished by saying, “If this town doesn’t have the Super Bowl, it’ll be a disaster.”

One would have to agree with Amaitis after looking at the tourism numbers in Las Vegas around the time of the Super Bowl. In 2010, $83.1 million was spent by 267,000 tourists on non-sports betting-related expenses such as hotels, food and entertainment. This is over 83 times what casinos actually made from bets made on the Super Bowl.

In regards to the potential loss of revenue across the board, Las Vegas Hilton sportsbook executive Jay Kornegay told reporters, “You can back it up all the way to the cab drivers, to the airport, to other venues across the country. It’s well beyond the sports books of Nevada, and that’s why I believe there’s going to be a lot of pressure on them to settle this thing.”

Unfortunately, the NFL lockout has no end in sight, and even added pressure from outside business interests may not be enough to get things moving in the right direction.

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