OK, I’ll admit it. My crystal ball and I didn’t have an excellent yr in 2023.
Possibly it was cracked, the identical means some yokels thought the Sphere was cracked.
In case you’re an everyday reader of this column, that as an alternative of reviewing the highest tales of the earlier yr, I desire to exit on a ledge to share what the gaming and tourism headlines of subsequent yr are going to say.
Through the years, my predictions have been fairly strong, though I actually whiffed once I advised in January 2022 that the Oakland A’s have been utilizing Las Vegas as leverage to get a greater deal for a harbor-front stadium in Oakland.
Ouch; which will have been my worst fail since I began this loopy challenge 5 years in the past.
A yr in the past, I predicted the headlines of 2023. Right here’s how I did:
Nevada’s casinos will document 12 extra months of gaming win income in extra of $1 billion.
Possibly this one was too straightforward, however you by no means know what lurks across the nook. Not solely did the state’s casinos surpass $1 billion for the following 12 months, however income exploded to document ranges. With the November numbers reported final week, the $1 billion-plus consecutive months document stands at 33 straight.
Conference attendance in Las Vegas lastly will surpass 2019 ranges.
Shut, however no cigar.
Whereas we received’t know for positive whether or not this was a miss till the top of January when the ultimate 2023 tallies come out, it’s fairly evident that conference attendance received’t hit the 2019 document stage of 6.6 million conventioneers. As of the top of November, the overall was 5.8 million. Which means there must be greater than 800,000 attendees in December to interrupt the document — unlikely in one of many metropolis’s lightest conference months.
The Nevada Gaming Management Board’s bid to self-discipline Steve Wynn will fail.
Technically proper, as I famous that I doubted Wynn would ever present up for a disciplinary listening to. Wynn as an alternative agreed to a settlement and paid a $10 million positive and stated he would by no means contain himself in Nevada gaming once more.
The settlement reached in July basically retains him out of the gaming trade, however his identify nonetheless sits atop a Strip resort and continues to pop up in some unresolved courtroom circumstances.
A global air service will announce nonstop flights between Las Vegas and Tokyo.
Proper concept; mistaken continent.
Whereas native flight recruiters and air service planners have lamented not having nonstop air service to Tokyo, 2023 gave the impression to be the yr that one thing can be established. However Tokyo service by no means materialized.
Las Vegas did get new air service to Central America. In April, Avianca Airways, South America’s second-largest industrial air service, introduced new service between Harry Reid Worldwide Airport and San Salvador, El Salvador.
Attendance and income projections for November’s Components One race will fall wanting expectations.
That actually turned out to be mistaken. Not solely did attendance and income projections meet expectations, they surpassed them. What few individuals noticed coming was the native outrage about race preparations and the pushback from the general public about bringing the race again sooner or later.
Gross gaming income in Macao will greater than double in 2023 from 2022 ranges.
Rating. Not solely did gross gaming income greater than double in Macao in 2023, it greater than quadrupled.
Three gaming firms with ties to Las Vegas will win licensing in New York.
The jury continues to be out on this prediction as a result of a last determination hasn’t been made but by New York authorities. So the entire native firms searching for a downstate New York license are nonetheless very a lot within the hunt.
So the way in which I have a look at it, I went 3-3 with one tie in ’23.
So what is going to you be studying about in 2024? Right here’s what the apparently broken crystal ball is telling me:
Tremendous Bowl 58 in Las Vegas will probably be so profitable that the NFL will put the town in its common Tremendous Bowl host rotation.
There’s little question that the sport in February has been well-planned. The host committee has accomplished a unprecedented job of getting ready for it. Now, it’s a matter of the NFL stepping up and committing to having the sport right here on a rotating foundation. Las Vegas wants to affix the ranks of New Orleans; Miami; Glendale, Arizona; and Los Angeles to frequently host the league’s largest recreation. And whereas they’re at it, they will deliver again the Professional Bowl in years when the Tremendous Bowl isn’t right here.
The United Arab Emirates will provide you with a nationwide gaming regulatory construction in ’24.
Proper now, solely Ras Al Khaimah, the place Wynn Resorts Ltd. is constructing Wynn Al Marjan Island, is the one emirate the place legalized playing is deliberate. However I think the opposite emirates the place Las Vegas firms are constructing resorts will persuade authorities to broaden the panorama.
That could possibly be massive information for MGM Resorts Worldwide and Caesars Leisure Inc. as they proceed their tasks in and round Dubai.
Floor will probably be damaged on the high-speed rail challenge between Las Vegas and Southern California.
This will likely look like a gimmie as a result of planning for the challenge is to date alongside.
However there are a whole lot of people that nonetheless assume the Brightline West challenge isn’t going to occur. It would, and it’s coming.
Sphere will begin building of a brand new venue.
The crystal ball is just a little foggy on the place, but it surely appears Dubai or South Korea are doubtless areas.
Sphere officers even have to cut back costs on a few of their performances when ticket gross sales start to wane in ’24.
Components One will return in November, but it surely received’t be as effectively attended or as worthwhile as the primary race.
Locals received’t be as disrupted as they have been in 2023, however the identical anti-F1 vibe will proceed to prevail, and lots of followers who loved the novelty of the Las Vegas evening race received’t return in ’24.
The NBA — lastly — will announce plans to find a franchise in Las Vegas.
After profitable runs with the NBA Summer season League and final yr’s first-ever in-season event, the NBA finds it’s able to put a Vegas-born group within the metropolis, and play will start as quickly because the Oak View Group’s resort and area at Las Vegas Boulevard and Blue Diamond Street is able to open.
Nevada gaming numbers will lastly recede.
Whereas month-to-month gaming win totals of $1 billion-plus aren’t going away, Nevada will hit a peak in 2024 and progressively start to slip. It’s the regulation of gravity — what goes up should come down.
Contact Richard N. Velotta at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-477-3893. Comply with @RickVelotta on X.