Nevada’s gambling industry “has a serious health problem” and will be looking outside for new opportunities. That was the message Steve Wynn, a key figure in the casino business, delivered this week to Nevada’s governor and state legislative leaders.
“Further growth in the gaming industry is not going to occur in Nevada,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported after Wynn’s unusual visit to the state’s political leaders.
Wynn was arguing against proposed state tax increases, but his point about the casino industry’s economic challenges dovetails with a report in Forbes this month. That article said the Las Vegas gambling sector is looking for expansion outside Nevada to overcome problems with “oversaturation, disappointing returns on investment and numerous bankruptcy filings in the core Las Vegas market.”
In other words, don’t be surprised if non-casino states such as Nebraska see a renewed effort to legalize gambling halls here.
That would likely be a tough sell, given how Nebraskans said “no” to video keno in 2006 and “no” in 2004 to two pro-casino proposals, results consistent with votes against gambling in 1990 and 1938.
It seems a good bet the casino issue will return. Exactly when, it’s hard to say. But Nebraskans should be ready for the debate.