The popularity of baccarat is driving Asian customers to Las Vegas, which is giving the gambling industry a much needed boost. Although the number of people who play baccarat is still lower than poker, craps or blackjack, the money involved is higher than any of those games.
There are always signs that point towards an industry experiencing a revival. For Vegas gambling, that sign was the SLS Las Vegas. The opening of this resort in August marked the end of a four year period where no new casinos or resorts opened near the strip.
At the northern end of the Las Vegas strip, the new SLS Casino took over the spot where an old Sahara hotel used to reside. The project has been in motion since 2007, but recent improvements in gambling revenue drove the owners to push for an opening date.
A lot has changed in Las Vegas since 2010. With the country coming out of its economic depression, more people are willing to spend their money on frivolous gambling and other debauchery. However, the biggest change factor has been the newly found popularity of baccarat.
There was a time when blackjack used to bring in the most money, but baccarat had 2013-2014 figures of more than $1.5 BILLION for Vegas casinos. In layman’s terms, this means that for every four dollars someone spends on the Vegas strip, one dollar is spent on baccarat.
Vegas casinos are acutely aware of how much they owe to these Chinese gambling enthusiasts. There has been a steady increase in the number of theater productions that have a Chinese theme to them. For example, The Palazzo has been responsible for a production of Panda, which takes most of its production team from China. There were also huge celebrations on the Vegas strip to mark the Chinese New Year.