Casino entrepreneur Derek Stevens believes 2021 will be one of the best years for Las Vegas.
Stevens Sees 2021 as Pivotal Year for Las Vegas Casinos
On Tuesday, famed Nevada-based casino owner Derek Stevens joined “Squawk on the Street” to discuss the future prospects of the Las Vegas casino industry.
Mr. Stevens is the CEO of three large casinos in the gambling capital of the US: Circa Resort & Casino, D Casino & Hotel and the Golden Gate Hotel & Casino.
This year has been a turbulent one for Nevada’s gambling and casino scene. The ongoing pandemic and operational restrictions have put significant pressure on the state’s gambling and tourism industry, and on its economy as a whole.
During the interview, Mr. Stevens says that casinos can function “at basically 50% capacity”. He explains that different sectors within the casinos have varying acceptable capacity levels. Slot machines, for example, are limited to 50% and only every other machine has to be switched off. Restaurants, on the other hand, can only function at 25% capacity.
Nevada’s economy has been in shambles since the first wave of restrictions. The state has even lost its position as the biggest gambling market in the US. That title now belongs to New Jersey, partially because of its more flexible handling of online gambling. Coupled together with Nevada’s recent decision to extend COVID-19 restrictions, this paints a somewhat grim picture.
However, Mr. Stevens is optimistic about the current state and future prospects of Nevada’s gambling scene. According to him, the last five to six few weeks of the year have seen a growing resurgence of weekend gambling activities. He notes that the corporate and convention sides of the casino business have taken a significant hit, but gaming is returning to normal.
More importantly, Mr. Stevens is adamant that the new year will see a massive economic recovery for the City of Lights. He projects a very robust 2021 and says it might be one of the strongest years for Las Vegas and its casinos.
That being said, Mr. Stevens stresses that the business and convention aspects will take some time to get back on track. However, the recent increase in free travel and mobility will surely benefit the gambling capital of the world, Mr. Stevens believes.
Many other gambling markets across the US are set to grow as well in the coming year. 2021 may be a year to remember.