BY ROY STUDENT AND CAROLAN PEPIN
In the mid-1990s, a seismic shift felt around the gaming world occurred in the largest of casino markets. Casino games and all the various forms of betting were no longer the only or even the main moneymakers for Las Vegas. Non-gaming revenues had grown to account for an even bigger portion of the business. Although the current economic downturn makes revenue comparisons difficult, the split of gaming versus non-gaming continues to be in the 50/50 range, and this ratio is repeated in gaming locales far beyond the famous Strip. While the revenue split may be more critical in Las Vegas and other major destination casinos, rooms, dining and entertainment, which started as loss leaders, are now key pockets of profit apart from the casino floor. Exploiting this non-gaming side of the business may provide the latest path to more business, new customers and increased success for casinos even as economic factors continue to affect the gaming industry.