Tensions between US and China may hurt Las Vegas’ Casino Revenue
Amid soaring tensions between the leaders of the United States and China due to trade war and COVID-19 pandemic, casino industry experts have warned that worsening relations between the two superpowers could severely hurt the entertainment and gaming business in Las Vegas.
US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping have been involved in the corona virus blame game for the last many weeks. Since mid-March, President Trump has repeatedly criticized Chinese authorities for not informing the US and WHO about the severity of the corona virus. It may be noted here that the first case of deadly corona virus was first recorded in China late last year, but China allegedly concealed it from the world. On the other hand, China has been blaming the US for the pandemic.
In January, before the corona outbreak in the United States, President Trump had praised himself for signing a trade deal worth $200 billion. But, the outbreak of the deadly virus changed all that. In a recent interview, Trump said, “They should have never let this [coronavirus] happen. I make a great deal, and now I say it just doesn’t feel the same. We’re not going to renegotiate. Look, I’m not happy about anything having to do with that particular subject right now.”
The worsening relations between the two superpowers are largely expected to result in fewer Chinese travelers venturing to Las Vegas in the forthcoming months. Las Vegas casinos crave Chinese gamblers’ deep pockets, but fewer Chinese visitors will result in lower revenues for Las Vegas casinos which are already struggling to revive after prolonged COVID-19-induced shutdowns. Chinese gambling community will have the option to shift to Macau.
Chunjuan Nancy Wei, a professor of international political economy at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, warned that the number of Chinese tourists will be on the downside in the many months to come. It may be noted here that Las Vegas is one of the world’s biggest casino venues, and it generated more than $6.5 billion in revenues last year.
As per data revealed by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority (LVCVA), a total of 236,479 tourists who visited Southern Nevada in 2018 had come from China. Las Vegas casinos eagerly wait for Chinese gamblers because of their hefty spending on games. In 2018, Chinese tourists spent, on average, $3,127 per trip compared to an average spending of $2,039 by other international tourists.
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