Tonight, a new World Series of Poker champion will be named at the Penn & Teller theater in Las Vegas. The highest honor in poker will make a millionaire in a city that's used to taking fortunes from its customers. But in recent years, the tables have turned and the house's advantage has been diminished as customers seek a new kind of thrill in Sin City.
The party looks like it's returned to Vegas, but the gamblers are slower in arriving. We saw it when the Cosmopolitan opened and became the new hot spot on The Strip filling rooms at strong rates and making a killing on food and drinks. But high room rates and popular nightclubs don't make a profitable resort, gamblers do.
Gamblers a world away
Unlike Macau, where gambling is the focus, the young crowd in Las Vegas is less concerned with playing blackjack than they are with making it to the afternoon pool parties. When Wynn Resorts
Another contributor to the struggles in Las Vegas is that the Asian players who used to travel halfway around the world to play the tables in Las Vegas no longer have to, as the newest casinos are in Singapore and Macau. What's the draw to the aging Las Vegas Strip?
The party rages on
So while Las Vegas Sands
It wasn't the college kids on spring break that built Las Vegas, it was the gamblers who would sit at a table all day. Maybe it's a changing demographic, the spread of gaming in the U.S., or a bad economy, but those people don't seem to be visiting quite as often.
It's too bad, because I enjoyed ogling what those players helped build as I strolled toward one of the city's growing and less profitable poker rooms.
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Fool contributor Travis Hoium does not have a position in any company mentioned. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw.
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