Visiting Las Vegas is Growing More Expensive Faster Than Any Other US City 

Most gamblers visiting Las Vegas know the old adage, the house always wins. But they might not expect the price they pay to house themselves each time they visit the city has gone up 45% in just five years.

That’s according to a recent piece by Forbes, which ranked Las Vegas as the U.S. city with the fastest-growing costs to visitors.

Las Vegas beat Tucson, Arizona, in second place, and Sacramento, California, in third place, to take the unenviable top spot. 

The Survey 

As well as hotel fees in Las Vegas going up 47.5% since Q1 2019, rental car rates are up 61.44%. The cost of three daily meals has also gone up, becoming nearly 14% more expensive than five years ago. 

The only cost analyzed in the report that went down was the cost of domestic flights, which are 5.5% cheaper than five years ago. 

In real terms costs, three average daily meals in Las Vegas could today rack up a visitor just shy of $100 dollars. In 2019, the same meals would have cost $86. 

The 14% rise is actually less than the compound U.S. inflation rate of around 15% to 20% over that time. However, hotel rooms and rental car prices have gone up almost three times faster than inflation in that same period. 

Most major Las Vegas Strip casino resorts have also been cutting free parking, and some have even scaled back their gambling rewards programs. 

Priced Out 

Sin City gambling operations have seen record revenues in recent years, and visitor numbers to the city have stayed consistently high, too. But the general rise in the visiting expenses may have put off some visitors from gambling in favor of other activities. 

Gambling income is high for Las Vegas’ casinos. However, the traditional big revenue driver of the major resort casinos, slots, have actually seen slower growth, and even some falls during this time.

It has actually been high-limit baccarat gaming that has been the biggest growth sector in Nevada’s casino gaming business over the past year. Card games haven’t quite overtaken slots as revenue leaders yet, but the gap is narrowing.

The data suggests that casinos may be doubling down on attracting higher-limit players that don’t feel the pinch of rising prices on their gambling budgets. 

April 2024’s gambling revenues in Nevada hit record highs for the month at $1.24 billion, and continued the three-year-long streak of billion-dollar-plus months.

However, it also ended the nine-month run of consecutive month-on-month growth, being slightly less than March’s total of $1.29 billion.

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