Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

December 14, 2007

Open Topic Discussion: December 14, 2007

Posted by detroit1051

Is Las Vegas facing a "perfect storm" with increased gaming taxes, high restaurant prices, infrastructure issues, crime/gang problems and other issues which confront large urban areas?
I was astonished to read that Las Vegas is now the most expensive restaurant city in the country, and higher gaming taxes may put a damper on future growth.
Las Vegas Becomes Country's Most Expensive Restaurant City

"Here in Las Vegas, that atmosphere for gaming having unfettered power to control economic-political outcomes is about to be changed as never before," he said.
He then referenced the initiative proposed by the teachers union to raise the gaming tax 3 points to 9.75 percent to pay teachers more and finance educational programs. That's a 44.4 percent tax increase."
Gaming Taxes


Read archived comments (12 so far)
December 14, 2007 6:15 AM Posted by Brian Fey

I have a huge problem with this. This is typical government greed. They overspend, and then want to over-tax the one industury in the state that keeps them alive? You have to be kidding me. They can't possibly be serious. Is this the answer everytime the goverment waste out tax money, to just raise taxes? This has to stop!

Food cost are getting out of hand in LV. However, we keep going and paying it, so they keep getting it. We can't blame them, if we'll pay it, they its their job as a for profit business to charge it.

December 14, 2007 2:23 PM Posted by detroit1051

Elad goes to the Planning Commission next week for its Plaza project:

December 14, 2007 3:12 PM Posted by mike_ch

I have no problem with the gaming tax boost, it's really low compared to other territories, but I don't want it to go entirely to teacher salaries, thank you. Although Brian, teachers here get paid less than teachers whereever you are, I'd practically bet $20 on it.

Terry Lanni's griping and complaining about all this is amusing to listen to. Nevada's problem at the moment is that we elected a completely incompetent governor who took one of those "no taxes" pledge that Republican special interests love, and increasingly that pledge is the only thing he has to run on. If he breaks that pledge he will only be even more incompetent and lose whatever precious little followers he has left.

Lanni and all the other Strip barons who keep conservative coffers filled should be looking in the mirror when wondering how the state wound up in such a situation. He should also wonder why his company hanged their hat soley on Las Vegas to the level it has (acquisitions, CityCenter, etc) without thinking that they have the most to lose in a tax increase as the dominant force on the Strip.

At least Sheldon Adelson, the ringleader of the Strip's political muscle, doesn't seem to be fazed by Jim Gibbons and his no-tax pledge. In fact, he seem to be enjoying the presence as he now lobbies hard for the state to dismantle the convention aspect of the tourist association and thus lose control of the Convention Center, a boon for his MEGACENTER(tm).

Are the casinos going to go away overnight? No chance. Atlantic City's gaming tax is way higher than ours, and "MGM Grand Atlantic City" is a CityCenter-ish monster of a resort unlike any that city has ever seen.

December 14, 2007 5:07 PM Posted by Jeff in OKC

Mike, I'm not being smart aleck, but lets go through some of the math. I don't know much, but here's a little. It looks like the state of Nevada took in about $280 million a month in tax revenue in 2006. The gaming revenue for the same period averaged about $1 billion a mounth gross. The gaming tax on that @ 6.5% is $65 million, which is just under 25%. I'm guessing the out of state percentage of that $65 million is about half, or $32 million, about 12%. What I'm getting at is I don't think any other state gets so much of their tax revenue as a gift from visitors, who don't use the schools or social services, etc.
I think the "Casino barons" are right. If we calculate all revenue and jobs derived from the casino industry, we would find it drives the Nevada economy and tax structure at a disproportinate (sp) level compared to any other industry in any other state in America.

December 15, 2007 10:05 AM Posted by mike_ch

Well, I already said I think it's a waste to throw that kind of money on education. Of course, I think this because I'm familiar with how it works in California, where every couple years another large bond for education funding hits the bill and is supported by voters, and the schools merely continue along at their current level.

I have no problem with that tax raise but I think it should be used on other more pressing issues such as transportation, resource management, etc. We've talked before about how the roads around the Strip are getting more and more crowded, and you could write a novel about the water issues here.

I think it's ridiculous to hear these casinos say they can't anything higher than the status quo with how inefficiently they operate and how lax they have become on maintenance.

What I'm trying to say is I'm not opposed to the principle, although in this case I think it's being done for the wrong reason.

December 15, 2007 1:02 PM Posted by Hunter

Personally, I agree with Lanni that it is unfair to put additional tax burden on the casino industry when others aren't being asked to be a part of the solution but I also think this is a fight they well could lose, mostly because the tax is low compared to other states with gaming. It's a hard PR position for them to be in.

But never forget, Nevada is unlike any other state with casino gaming - it does not have a diversified economy unlike other states - gaming is the deal in Nevada and along with mining, drives practically everything in some way.

I loved Lanni's quote on LVS and their continued attempts to shift bed taxes away from the LVCVA.

December 18, 2007 5:27 AM Posted by detroit1051

Press releases and news on MGM Macau's opening are now appearing. In the following Reuters story, I find it a strange comparison to the Bugsy Siegel era in Las Vegas considering some questions which have been raised about Pansy Ho, MGM's partner.

In The Wall Stree Journal's December 18 story, Lanni says MGM's entry into Cotail will focus on better insead of bigger. Sounds a lot like Wynn and MGM will try to out-duel each other in building the world's best hotel on Cotai. For subscribers, here's the link:

December 21, 2007 12:04 PM Posted by Andy S

I see on the Mirage website that they have announced their new rooms with renevations starting next year.

They look a bit 60s inspired to me. What do you guys think?


December 21, 2007 3:24 PM Posted by Hunter

Really interesting site on hotel ownership that I saw posted on

December 26, 2007 9:26 AM Posted by mike_ch

Once again, people used the days off to come to Vegas and brought their whole family. And once again, the resorts relied on international entertainment to lure in people whose cultural backgrounds don't include Christmas to keep the doors turning on Dec 24/25. This year seemed to draw a large Indian audience (not the kind that run reservation casinos.)

Bellagio in particular might as well just go ahead and hire a dude to play Santa and charge an arm and a leg for pictures, because they were feeling the effects of being across the street from Miracle Mile, where it seemed like every customer had their own train of children following them around. At least they left the waterworks out front running with the whole line of jets spraying water at a level height, so you could go stand out on the sidewalk and get your fit-for-a-postcard "hotel building and water curtain" shot.

Everybody knows I'm the most forgiving of the kids in casinos thing, and I have a better time at family destinations than I ever did Vegas. But something put me over the top this year, maybe it was the Conservatory having an unofficial stroller parking section.

I guess next Christmas I should just head directly to Wynn and never leave.

January 4, 2008 4:12 PM Posted by Mark D

"More than 40 Signature owners, of about 1,640, have sued the developers for fraud, saying they were lured to buy the units by promises of net profits generated by rental income..."

"...maintenance fees topping $1,000 a month..."

"...studios sometimes fetch as little as $99 a night through the front office, which is good for hotel occupancy and filling the casino but attracts bargain hunters, some of whom have "destroyed" the well-appointed rooms..."

January 4, 2008 11:20 PM Posted by Mark D

And now for something completely off the wall. A proposal to build a 30-story tall farm in Las Vegas.