Every city has its own lifestyle and vibe, its unique combination of social, cultural, economic, and historical factors that make it suited for a specific type of real estate investment. Although they may sound rather niche, casino properties play a major role in many local economies and make for the most part of realtor portfolios. For example, if you operate in a city like Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Reno, or San Jose, you probably have a few casino properties already. Across borders, other notable cities with a flourishing gambling market include Macao, Baden-Baden, or, more recently, Amsterdam. For the past five years, these cities have attracted private operators with their friendly regulatory environment, competitive landscape, and booming travel industry. But can these markets still hold up in the era of online casinos?
Well, that depends. Although the land-based casinos in this city will not go away any time soon, and people will probably continue to come here for years, the market is changing, and success might not always be guaranteed. In light of the recent economic changes, and the changes that the gambling market has undergone as a whole, it’s important to realize that casino properties aren’t always destined for success and that sometimes, even in gambling hotspots, it’s a good idea to look at other properties too.
Online casinos and the new face of gambling
For the previous generation of real estate agents, casino properties in gambling cities were a surefire investment because there was no competitor for casinos. Now, however, things have changed. People who want to test their luck or their skill no longer have to travel to a brick-and-mortar location to play games like slots, blackjack, or poker because the same things can be done online. Online casinos have evolved a lot in the past few years, from basic websites with glitzy graphics and questionable UIs, to secure digital platforms that revolutionize gambling. Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran, you can start by looking up the best online slot information and create an account on a platform that offers you the games, payment systems, and bonuses you need.
Thanks to technology, online gaming platforms have become sleek, powerful, and secure. At the same time, the number of smartphone users is constantly increasing, and so is the demand. According to a report from Grand View Research, the global online gambling market had reached $53 billion in 2019 and, between 2020 and 2017, it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.5%. This growth is due to several key factors, including:
- The widespread accessibility of gaming platforms
- Friendlier regulatory landscapes
- Celebrity endorsements
- Sponsorships from major companies, sporting events, etc.
- Technologies that speed up development and enhance security
- Better bonuses and promotions
- Resources for safe gambling
These days, if someone wants to have fun and make a profit, they can claim roulette bonuses at Slotty Vegas, or they can play online slots with a variety of fun themes. As a result, land-based casinos have lost a bit of their popularity, especially among the younger demographic. In this new context, the land-based casinos that show resilience are the ones that are part of larger complexes, with hotels, restaurants, cafes, spas, and other such features, or the casinos that offer extra entertainment events. Realtors who have smaller venues in their portfolio may discover that they’re not as competitive and that they might have to look beyond casinos at other sub-sectors.
Other real estate sectors are booming, and it’s an opportunity worth catching.
In a city that’s constantly in the headlines for its gambling industry, other properties can easily go unnoticed, but failing to look at the entire real estate market can mean losing a lot of profitable opportunities. Take Atlantic City, for example. Previously known for its booming casino industry, Atlantic City is now reinventing itself. Earlier in February, the iconic Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino was demolished, a symbolic event that hinted at the city’s disappearance from the list of casino hotspots.
But while land-based casinos were losing in favor of online roulette and other casino games, the local housing market was silently growing. One report from the National Association of Realtors even revealed that home prices rose by 30% compared to the previous year, and, in January, they were even 35% higher. In comparison, gambling revenue in New Jersey dropped by 17%.
This change isn’t entirely down to casino operators. In the past years, local authorities have made a series of investments to transform Atlantic City from a place where gamers go to have a good time to a place where families relocate thanks to the opportunities it offers. Some of these measures include creating more jobs and building family-friendly spaces. Even the famous Atlantic Club Casino Hotel was closed in 2014, and developers plan to repurpose it into apartments and condos. Projects like this exist all over the city, and many realtors here have had to diversify because casino properties aren’t as profitable as they used to be.
Of course, this is only an example. Other local economies continue to rely on gambling, but this goes to show that properties that were once considered bulletproof investments are no longer that safe, and you may have to pivot.
Land-based casinos may need some time to come back in full swing
The past year has been complicated for all land-based venues, including but not limited to casinos, and it may be a while until things get back to normal. Many casinos have had to close their doors and, once they reopened, people were skeptical of going back inside, especially since they had the best slots machines online, online roulette, and other digital alternatives to their favorite games. The same thing happened to shops and restaurants. Experts forecast a slow recovery starting at the end of 2021, but it won’t be until 2022 that things go completely back to normal. Until then, keep in mind that casino properties may be tricky to work with and that you should carefully analyze the state of the local real estate market.