At What Point Is the Casino Gaming Market Saturated?
As states such as Massachusetts, Florida, New York, New Hampshire, and Maryland enter or expand their presence in the casino gaming market, we have to ask ourselves the question: at what point will the market be saturated?
State by state, casino gaming has been legalized in the U.S. In years where state and personal budgets are tight, the pace of legalization accelerates as lawmakers search for sources of jobs and for revenues to fund state services and programs. With each state that has entered the fray, gaming revenues have risen. The growing American population and the growing acceptance of gaming have fueled the casinos nationwide. However, established gaming centers such as Atlantic City have suffered, as the majority of the nation’s population is now within a drive or short flight of a casino.
Over the past 8 years or so, I have been analyzing gaming markets across the U.S. Most recently, I’ve been assessing the potential for expanded gaming in Florida and the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic/New England markets. What I’m seeing and forecasting is this: the marketplace can absorb the casinos that are currently proposed, but too much additional supply above and beyond these proposals could saturate the market. The additions of proposed supply will certainly make competition tougher and will likely have a negative impact on existing gaming operators that don’t step up to the plate. This competition will be great for gamers – they’ll have more options, and will be able to pick and choose where to spend their gaming dollars.
All of this makes the jobs of those in the gaming industry harder, but potentially more rewarding. The vast potential for gaming in the United States has not been tapped completely, and smart players in the game will benefit. In addition to building and operating facilities that gamers will like, gaming firms must consider location. Capturing gaming dollars will largely be a function of finding the right location – build too far from the population or too close to competition, and revenues could suffer; build in an inaccessible location or one that the community is not in favor of, and no one will come; ignore the potential for synergy with other entertainment options (including other casinos!) and you might be turning away revenues. Thorough analysis, site evaluation, and thoughtful site selection can help make the difference between building a casino that performs on-par with the market, or one that not only is a market leader, but has the ability to grow the market.
So, the answer to the question of saturation isn’t that simple. Are we at saturation? No. Are we getting close? Mabye? Will smart gaming operators be able to grow the market? We’ve seen it before, why not again?
Suzanne P. Leckert
Director of Gaming, Feasibility & Land Use Analysis
email@example.com or (504)569-9239 x 33
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