|ABC. This network’s star White House reporter and news magazine anchorman, Sam Donaldson, on Monday warned gambling industry executives at the Global Gaming Expo here: “War with Iraq is likely and the conflict would hurt the Las Vegas resort business.” Donaldson amplified that it would not be the fear of travel that will keep people from this desert gambling capitol, but that TV coverage of the war will keep them home.|
“The CNN effect cuts down on travel,” Donaldson said. He cited the degree of TV watching that had occurred amongst Americans during the Gulf War and, as well, the increase in television news coverage since then, pioneered and stylized by the CNN.
Donaldson’s credible claim is backed up by Vegas statistics. At the height of the Gulf War in January, 1991, visitor volume dropped by over 4%, which represents over a million and a half customers, and hundreds of millions of dollars
Harrah CEO, Phil Satre, said, “I think in large measure the effect on Las Vegas would depend on how the war is conducted. I remember quite well looking at the numbers from our properties, and they were dismal. People were looking at their TVs.”