The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) recently released its 2022 Visitor Profile study. This research provides an excellent gauge of the typical visitor to Las Vegas.
This isn’t an exact science and isn’t representative of every individual visitor to Las Vegas. Sin City offers so many different types of experiences in addition to just gambling in a Nevada casino.
Not everyone has the same mission when visiting. This profile captures the interests, behaviors, and spending trends of the typical visitor to Las Vegas. Here’s a not-at-all surprising example: Gamblers spend their time differently than those in Las Vegas for bachelorette parties.
The survey sample includes 6,267 in-person and online interviews and surveys. For reference, this is from a base of 39 million who visited last year.
Las Vegas visitors are younger
Generally, the LVCVA research found that visitors to Las Vegas are younger than ever. Last year the average age of a visitor to Las Vegas was 40.7 years. This is down from 43.2 in 2021 and 46.2 in 2019. There was no survey in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2021, 21% of the visitors surveyed had children. That number actually dropped, as only 16% of visitors said they had someone under 18 in their travel party last year. More than half (53%) of the visitors to Las Vegas in 2022 were between 21 and 39 years old. This is the highest percentage of visitors in this age group in at least the past five years.
Both percentages are massive increases from 2019. Before the pandemic, only 5% of groups had children under 18.
This follows a trend of visitors skewing younger over the last 30 years. The average age of visitors to Las Vegas in 1992 was 47.2.
Why do people visit Las Vegas?
The main reason visitors came to Las Vegas last year was for vacation or pleasure. This was the case with 58% of those surveyed. That’s the highest percentage in the past five years.
Those visiting friends and relatives in Las Vegas made up 12% of the survey’s audience. While down from 2021, this was the second-most reason for visiting Las Vegas last year.
Conventions and business meetings started to get back to normal last year. However, only 5% of those surveyed said that was their main reason for visiting Las Vegas in 2022. Expect to see this increase in next year’s report, as CES already had larger attendance than last year. CONEXPO-CON/AGG, held in March, had more than 100,000 people in attendance for its trade show.
Only 6% of visitors said that their main reason for coming to Las Vegas last year was to gamble. This is on the low side of recent surveys that showed between 5% and 14% of visitors going to Las Vegas specifically to gamble.
75% of Las Vegas visitors gambled
Las Vegas was once the only place to gamble inside casinos. That’s changed, and there are land-based and online casinos around the country.
Additionally, online sports betting is available in more than 35 states across the country. It’s less expensive to stay at home and bet on sports than to travel to Las Vegas to use one of the less-than-equal Nevada sports betting apps.
While only 6% of visitors to Las Vegas in 2022 were in town specifically to gamble, 75% of all visitors did some kind of gambling during their trip. This is on par with recent years.
Those who did gamble in Las Vegas last year did so for 2.6 hours during their visit. This was down from 3.0 hours in 2021.
On average, visitors who gambled had a budget of $761.22. Not only is this a $43 increase from 2021, but it’s a huge jump from pre-pandemic levels. 36% of all gamblers had a budget of $600 or more. Another 30% had a budget under $300 for their visit to Las Vegas. The average daily gambling budget was approximately $173, according to the Visitors Profile.
The average number of days (4.4) and nights (3.4) stayed in Las Vegas was down from 4.6 and 3.6 in 2021. This was about the same as in 2018 and 2019.
While gambling odds and rules are mostly better in downtown Las Vegas casinos, only 8% of those who went to “Old Vegas” did so specifically to gamble. Half went to see what was happening at the Fremont Street Experience.
Where did Las Vegas visitors spend money?
Spending on food and beverage increased for the third report in a row, to $519.23. While spending on sightseeing and shopping decreased, shows and entertainment budgets were much higher than in recent years.
In 2021, visitors spent $32.55 on entertainment during their visit to Las Vegas. Last year that number soared to $117.29.
According to the music industry trade magazine Pollstar, Las Vegas has the most expensive concert tickets in the US at $151.69. For reference that’s more expensive than New York, Los Angeles, and Miami.
Of those visitors who saw a show, half saw a production show like Cirque Du Soleil. A quarter saw a headliner, and 14% saw a magic show.
Las Vegas is becoming a destination for sports fans, with 1.7 million people attending events at Allegiant Stadium. As many as 69% of those in attendance for Raiders games were rooting for the visiting team.
Last year, 6% of those surveyed actually attended a sporting event in Las Vegas last year. That’s up from 4% the previous year. This should continue to grow as Las Vegas becomes home to more events.
For the first time, the Visitor Profile tracked how many people watched sports when visiting Las Vegas last year. One in six (16%) visitors viewed sporting events while visiting Las Vegas. This includes watching at a sportsbook, watch party, or just on any TV.
Paying for Las Vegas hotel rooms
Seeing how much the typical visitor in Las Vegas gambles may seem low to those who make hitting the tables and machines a priority. The same can be said for casino rewards members who visit when they receive a discount or complimentary room offer for their Vegas vacation.
Half of all visitors to Las Vegas that stayed in a hotel paid the regular advertised rate for a Las Vegas room last year. While that may seem high to reward members, it’s actually the lowest in a few years.
Only 13% of visitors paid a casino discount rate, while just 10% received a complimentary room last year.
Looking ahead to the 2023 report
The increase includes more visitors to Las Vegas for conventions. According to the LVCVA, these visitors stay in Las Vegas after work is done. Among those surveyed, the Visitor Profile shows that 58% extended their stay to enjoy leisure time in Las Vegas by an average of 1.7 days.
In February, convention visitors increased by 50% compared to last year. The increased number of convention attendees this year should increase the bottom lines for casino and hotel operators.
The busy start to 2023 might hit a speed bump, but there are more events and activities planned for both leisure and business travelers than in recent years.