Broke And Broker: US Casino Spending Tumbling Back To Great Recession Levels

Tyler Durden's picture

Need yet another confirmation showing the US consumer has entered a phase of terminal retrenchment (in addition to all the other ones of course)? Below is a chart of Casino gaming spending in the past 15 years. What the chart shows is quite clear: at a drop of 4.3% Y/Y, far below the cyclical rises in 2011 and 2012, discretionary spending allocated for proceeds one can "afford to lose" is back to Great Recession levels, and sliding lower.

As Bloomberg Brief summarizes, Gary Loveman, CEO for Caesars Entertainment, said the company felt the impact of curtailed consumer discretionary spending in their most recent quarterly results. Loveman noted that his company’s strategy was implemented “against the backdrop of ongoing uncertainty in the macroeconomic picture in this country and consumer weakness in the U.S. economy that negatively affected discretionary consumer spending and ultimately our gaming results."

On the other hand, with most of the gambling these days taking place in your retail brokerage screen with bets on when the Fed's record high house of superglued cards finally comes tumbling down, perhaps consumers have merely changed their definition of gambling. It was once known as "investing."

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Ghordius's picture

I clicked because I thought it was an article about Wall Street... this is about honest gambling

HD's picture

Know when to hold 'em

Know when to fold 'em

Know when to walk away

Know when to RUN


Harlequin001's picture

and for everything else there's Bitcoin...

francis_sawyer's picture

Calling Las Vegas Dave


Sheldon Adelson just texted & said if you don't get in there & spend all the money he pays you to clean his pools in his casinos, YOU'RE FIRED!

Manthong's picture

Did he mean “casino” or “capex”?

Lets_Eat_Ben's picture

Anyone noticing the dramatic uptick in available escorts and similar services? Me neither.


Things that do well in a depression: poker, pussy, and liquor. Not particularly in that order.



TheLooza's picture

When i go to vegas...which is fairly often, my mo is to sit down at the bj table and try and make a few Gs as fast as i can. Once i get there, i blow it all on girls, booze and drugz. Its not a recipe for long term happiness but when it goes as planned it is ridiculously fun...

What are we talking about again?

Lets_Eat_Ben's picture

Can I come??? Vegas Baby!!!

Disenchanted's picture

Liquor in the front, poker in the rear...

Mr. Saxby's picture

Liquor in the front. Poker in the rear.

spastic_colon's picture

exactly....its not down if you count global stock markets

Croesus's picture

That's because the gamblers are all busy at the Bitcoin casino.

Doña K's picture

At least your chances at the casino are 47.5 for you to 52.5 for the house. Which is reasonable once you can factor money management to bring the odds a little closer. And, so far, I have never heard a case where the rules of the game were changed while the dice were cast or the ball was still spinning

Place your bets with the Bernack and you would be burnt


disabledvet's picture

Plus they throw in the prime rib and all the fixins for 5 bucks. Good luck getting that deal in New York. (glad to see I haven't chased all the girls away too.)

BobPaulson's picture

47.5 to 52.5 if you are not counting cards. With a simple +/- scheme at BJ you can do better, but it's a lot like work.

Doña K's picture

Come to think of it, the 5% round trip about equals the brokers commission, thus the odds are even worse on Wall street.  

Shizzmoney's picture

At least when I bet on Louisville last night, I actually got PAID.

TalkToLind's picture

All of your Tide Detergent advertising revenue is belong to us.

Silverhog's picture

Comrade Deval Patrick wants to open casinos here in Taxachusetts. As usual, already below the profit curve.

Shizzmoney's picture

And why shouldn't he?  Just so more money gets funneled to those corporate fascists who run the state of Connecticut (and the CT Indian tribes that rape their own people?).

More money for MA is less for Foxwoods - and fuck Foxwoods.  Although I do sense that Comrade Deval wants to overbuild casinos to fulfill Keynesian demand, which is NOT what we need.  Also, there will be HUGE roadblocks with the citizens of the towns, as everyone wants a casino - just NOt in their neghborhood.  The people of Foxboro already told Steve Wynn to go fuck himself in a vote (we here in MA actually take part in these processes, and just don't take it up the ass for the sake of building shit).

Just put a poker room and 30 BJ/Craps/Roulette tables at Suffolk, and have a resort casino out in Western MA.  No need for these multibillion dollar porjects (that's what the stock market wants, tho).


onewayticket2's picture

Massachuesetts blew it long ago...  not sure a casino is going to turn that sinkhole into a foundation for growth.



Shizzmoney's picture

It's short term growth - and that's all pols care about these days.

It's also -EV; Florida actually did gaming right.  They imposed betting limits, encourged "novelty" rooms (i.e. Poker rooms over slot parlors), and let the business grow slowly; rather than, "BUILD! BUILD! BUILD!".

Florida still has its problems, but its casino industry is one of the few it got right.

kareninca's picture

Hmm.  I grew up in the 70s (graduated from HS in 1981) 4.15 miles from where Foxwoods now is.  I know people who used to bring leftover food from church dinners, to the Indians who lived in that part of the (literal) woods.

The economy was horrible.  I mean, horrible.  My first job (during high school) was at McDonald's, but I quit because they wouldn't give me more than 4 hours per week; they were saving the hours for people who had families to support. (They were quite right to do that; I was saving for a trip to Europe.)  My friends who didn't go to college ended up working in factories and getting permanent industrial chemical lung damage, and gouged fingers from odometer making machines.

Then the casinos came in; first Foxwoods.  My degree-less high school friends got jobs there.  The jobs paid well, compared with the factory jobs (yes, really).  And the casinos provided health insurance:  local businesses raged that the casinos were poaching workers who had the temerity to want health insurance.  The stupid casinos saved that generation.

The economy now s*cks, but my HS friends are still working there in Foxwoods, decades later.  The factories are long gone.  Given how HORRIBLE CT is at supporting businesses, nothing else has come in; what a surprise.

My parents are still there, have been all along, and they hate the casinos.  The traffic, the corruption, the stupidity of gambling, the fake "Indianness" of most of the Indians, the now-crappy health insurance, the tribal law.  However, they are retired educators.  If they weren't my parents, I would say f*** them (on that topic).  There were NO JOBS before the casinos.  It was HORRIBLE.  The casinos are disgusting, but utter poverty is worse; I've seen it.

Okay, go ahead and blast.

smartstrike's picture

Great stuff! Thanks! Why individuals like you don't write blogs instead of people like 'fake' Tyler Durdens with an ax to grind against lower classes, eschewing facts for their masters.

Raynja's picture

@ smartstrike

shut the fuck up and go find a new site, altho i think you are the first person to ever claim that the tylers have it out for the lower class, most poeple would read the site and think they have it out for the bankers.



yes, the casinos do create stable, decent jobs, but what is the cost to society?

we could legalize coke, heroin, and meth,  everyone selling it would make money.

but that ignores all the people who cannot control themselves around casinos/drugs.


while i was in school in buffalo leading up to the last crash there were frequently stories about poeple killing themselves over gambling debts, stealing from their employers, and one guy who gambled away the rest of other poeples money and blew his brains out at the table.


are there actually more peopel benefitting from the jobs then there are destroying their and their families lives?

swissaustrian's picture

The bank always wins

Rien ne vas plus


Dr. Engali's picture

Alpo is getting too expensive to eat so grandma and grandpa can't afford to hit the boats.

Banksters's picture

I don't get gambling.  How fun is it to be destined to lose.   Shit, anytime someone comes up with a way to win eg, card counting, they get kicked out.   

Monkeyfister's picture

And yet you roll the dice, and spin the roulette whell at the Casinos on Wall Street.

Believe me-- the games there are rigged twice as hard against the player, than any place on the Strip.

mammoth mo's picture

Let me help you out.

Hey sucker, I meant customer.  Step right up and try your luck.

Those other guys who just busted out were unlucky.  You, you smell of luck, you got more luck coming out of your ears than those other bums have in there whole body.  You sir are special.  Special people win all the time - they clean us out.  Why we are 5 seconds from going under right now on your first roll of the dice.


Odds - who pays attention to odds.  The odds favor you - Mr. Lucky.


Now what will it be.   Roulette, Craps, or Apple?  Oh, sorry you picked a Cyprus bank.  

smartstrike's picture

Yes that's the reason why gaming revenues are down but room and Food & Beverage revenues are way up.

The casino industry has been taken over by the same lot that took over corporate America: short-term option maximizing Wall Street types who think they're God's gift to business. There were some casinos in LV that wanted to use robots to deal poker? They use card shuffling machines, card dealers on speed and efficient-statistics odds makers added various thieving side bonus bets to classical games such black jack and pai gow poker in order to bankrupt players in less than an hour.

The game for dumb Americans is a programmable slot machine, that's no different than HFT on Wall Street.

NoWayJose's picture

If only we had that extra 2% from the payroll tax...

dobermangang's picture

Lotto scratch offs are selling very well.  It takes too much gas money to get to the casinos.

If you decide to gamble on scratch off tickets, at least check your state's web site to see what scratch off games still have large payout prizes remaining.  Don't gamble on a game where all or most of the big winning prize tickets have already been sold.

smartstrike's picture

Yes, the wonderful state of Florida will sell you a scratch-off ticket with no prizes left to win.

kito's picture

I heard that Steve Wynn is buying the NYSE.......

Leopold B. Scotch's picture

Someone needs to clean that place up and make the rules apply to one and all.

10PastMidnight's picture

They just need to invite Corzine and Bernanke for some quadruple down action. It would be the only honest gambling they ever did.

fonzannoon's picture

THe rich are going to macau. Everyone else is poor.

Shizzmoney's picture

Correct - for poker players, that is where the REAL big games are, and where big limit players like Johnny Chan, Phil Ivey, and Tom Dwan have been playing. 

The "Big Game" used to be at the Aria or Bobby's Room, and those games don't go on as much as they used to.  They used to have mixed games as high as 2000/4000.  All of the whales are now in Macau (mostly for tax as well as privacy reasons).  Vegas action still does exist, but it is for your run-of-the-mill grinder (and for tournaments).  And these games are getting harder to beat since players are playing tighter (due to poker IQ amongst the player population rising due to its growin popularity, as well as the fact the economy is just so crappy - you have to crowbar cash out of players!).

Many poker pros go to Europe and China where they can play online as well, since it is banned here in the USSA.

I probably won't be going to Vegas the WSOP year; the payroll tax took $250 out of my roll to play this year, and I have been going through my own austerity to get out of debt by the end of the summer.


Doña K's picture

You can open a bank account in Macau in 10 minutes. Tell them you want the account to transfer some gambling money from oversees and you get surf and turf with it.


mayhem_korner's picture



Gambling is a voluntary tax.  When disposable income approaches zero, there is no more to give away.

buzzsaw99's picture

Disposable income is zero because income is zero. Many gamblers don't stop until they can't rustle up another dime.

dobermangang's picture

Yup.  Now it's much easier for the government to just steal money from your bank account.

Shizzmoney's picture

It is a tax on the stupid; however if you are smart enough to find edges (backgammon, sports betting, poker, blackjack card counting)......they are there.

I think the State funded lottery is the WORST thing for society.  I see tons of senior citizens taking their SS cash and just funnelling back into the State, without even knowing the odds of what their playing.  Big problem in the UK, too.

We need more "thinking" games, and less "push a button" gambling.  But the State desires the ladder - a dumb, mindless form of gambling - for the obvious reasons.

mammoth mo's picture

Never give a sucker an even break says the 1%.  They put sugar in everything in the buffet.  They bus seniors in.  They put bright lights out.  They take their retirement and send them home.

Jacque Itch's picture

Let's see... a spike for the tech bubble; a spike for the housing bubble; no spike for the super debt bubble.  That says all you need to know about this... um... "recovery".

scatterbrains's picture

Maybe BB should print up another 6 trill so folks will feel a bit more comfy cozy about things.