Political games obstruct Nevada business interest in Canada
A downtown Toronto resort complex that attracted the interest of Nevada’s largest casino operators appeared dead Friday after the city’s mayor canceled a vote scheduled for next week on the multi-billion dollar development.
In a City Hall news conference Thursday, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, the key backer of a single hotel-casino complex, said he was halting the planned vote, which many analysts had predicted would go against the gaming development.
Gaming giants MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment Inc., Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Wynn Resorts, Limited, had all expressed interest in building and operating the downtown Toronto integrated resort complex.
The companies all committed development money to the effort and representatives all traveled to Toronto to pitch their ideas and meet with city and province officials.
Caesars Entertainment had proposed a casino and resort development along Front Street. Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Jan Jones said the company’s project would have created more than 10,000 jobs and would have been a catalyst for redeveloping the city’s convention center.
Singapore, China dominance key in Adelson's latest win
Las Vegas Sands Corp., the gaming company controlled by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, reported first-quarter earnings Wednesday that easily surpassed analysts’ estimates as growth at its Macau properties accelerated.
The casino company last year increased its share of the Macau market with the opening of Sands Cotai Central, its fourth casino in the Chinese gambling enclave. Las Vegas Sands is building The Parisian, its second Cotai Strip resort at a cost of $3 billion.
The Parisian is scheduled to open in late 2015. Adelson told analysts in a conference Wednesday the company is seeking government approval to build its Tropical Garden retail mall in Cotai, a development with 900,000 square feet of “value oriented retail.”
Las Vegas Sands net income for the quarter was $572 million, or 69 cents per share, compared with $498.9 million, or 61 cents per shares, in the first quarter of 2012. Analysts surveyed by Yahoo Finance expected earnings of 67 cents.
So hmm, Vegas casinos generate in month about what Stars paid DOJ ...
A calendar shift that moved the lucrative Chinese New Year holiday into February sent Nevada gaming revenues soaring, contributing to the largest single-month total ever for the Strip.
Nevada casinos collected $1.073 billion in gaming revenues during February, a 15.1 percent increase compared with the same month a year ago according to figures released Wednesday by the Gaming Control Board.
The statewide gaming revenue total was the highest monthly amount produced by Nevada casinos since December 2007.
On the Strip, gaming revenues hit a record $696.1 million, a 31.2 percent increase.
“While February saw the timing benefit of a strong Chinese New Year, we think results still came in ahead of expectations,” Macquarie Securities gaming analyst Chard Beynon told investors.
The record figures were the result of high-end baccarat play associated with the 10-day Chinese New Year holiday. In 2012, the Chinese New Year was in January. In 2013, the holiday fell into February. As a result, gaming revenues in January declined 12.4 percent statewide and 18.7 percent on the Strip.
$3.9 billion in just a month
Any predictions of a slowdown in Macau’s gaming market are long forgotten.
The Chinese gaming enclave shattered the region’s monthly gaming revenue record in March, with casinos collecting more than $3.92 billion from gamblers during the month.
The figure eclipsed the previous one-month record of $3.5 billion in gaming revenues, which was set in December. The March total accounted for a 25.4 percent increase over the amount casinos collected in March 2012.
The monthly results were released Tuesday by the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. The March total is the best year-over-year growth rate since January 2012, when gaming revenues increased by 35 percent.
Las Vegas Sands Corp., MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts Ltd. are the three American casino companies operating in Macau.
$3.4 billion in February; a boon to Vegas casino companies
Macau casinos collected $3.4 billion in gaming revenues during February, a 12 percent increase compared with a year ago, according to figures released Friday by the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.
For the first two months of 2013, Macau gaming revenues are up 9.4 percent over the same period in 2012.
Last year, Macau collected a record-setting $38 billion in gaming revenues.
RBC Capital Markets gaming analyst John Kempf told investors the February results “were encouraging” after the start of the Chinese New Year celebration during the month was slower than anticipated.
“It is likely that VIP volumes increased post Chinese New Year as the players avoided the crowds and extended their holiday past the typical seven to 10 days,” Kempf said.
DOJ, SEC investigations ongoing, along with anti-Adelson media bias?
Las Vegas Sands Corp. called media accounts of the company’s self-reporting that it may have violated federal law that bans the bribing of foreign public officials “misleading and sensationalistic.”
In a statement released Sunday night, the casino operator, which is more than 53 percent owned by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, said it did not violate the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
On Friday, Las Vegas Sands, in a one-sentence statement within the company’s annual report filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, said its audit committee found possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
“As part of the annual audit of the company’s financial statements, the Audit Committee advised the company and its independent accountants that it had reached certain preliminary findings, including that there were likely violations of the books and records and internal controls provisions of the FCPA,” Las Vegas Sands said in its Form 10-K filing.
SEC and DOJ investigation of Venetian/Palazzo parent ongoing
Las Vegas Sands Corp. may have violated federal law that bans the bribing of foreign public officials, the casino operator told the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.
In a one-sentence statement within the company’s annual report filing, Las Vegas Sands said its Audit Committee found possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
“As part of the annual audit of the company’s financial statements, the Audit Committee advised the company and its independent accountants that it had reached certain preliminary findings, including that there were likely violations of the books and records and internal controls provisions of the ( act),” Las Vegas Sands said in its Form 10-K filing.
But Las Vegas Sands added it has “improved its practices with respect to books and records and internal controls” in recent years.
LV Strip holds its spot among biggest global gaming markets
Despite predictions two years ago, Singapore did not surpass the Strip as the world’s No. 2 gaming market in 2012.
And it might not happen this year, according to one gaming analyst.
The island nation’s two casinos produced $5.85 billion in gaming revenues in 2012, an 8 percent increase over 2011. That figure fell short of the $6.2 billion produced by the Strip’s more than 40 casinos.
Macau is the world’s largest casino market with $38 billion in gaming revenues in 2012.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. operates the Marina Bay Sands, which collected 2012 gaming revenues of $2.94 billion. Malaysia-based Genting, which owns Resorts World Sentosa Island, Friday reported $2.91 billion in gaming revenues, as part of the company’s fourth-quarter earnings announcement.
WSJ poker writer assisted with offending article
Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman Sheldon Adelson has sued a Wall Street Journal reporter for alleged libel over the way he was described in a December article concerning his company’s legal battle with its former Macau operations chief executive.
According to the newspaper, Adelson filed the lawsuit Feb. 22 in Hong Kong’s Court of First Instance and is seeking “damages, including aggravated, exemplary and special damages.”
The article ran under the headline “Fired Executive Rankles Casino Industry” in the U.S. edition of the newspaper and appeared in overseas editions as well as online.
The article compared Steven Jacobs as “a 6-foot-5-inch-tall Ivy League graduate who colleagues say rarely curses,” with Adelson, described as “a scrappy, foul-mouthed billionaire from working-class Dorchester, Mass.”
Gaming revenues for Genting and Sands hit $5.85 billion in 2012
Marina Bay Sands Singapore
Singapore didn’t pass Las Vegas as the world’s No. 2 gaming market in 2012, and might not happen this year, said one gaming analyst.
The island nation’s two casinos produced $5.85 billion in gaming revenues in 2012, an 8 percent increase over 2011. The figure fell short of the $6.2 billion produced by the Strip’s more than 40 casinos.
Macau is the world’s largest casino market with $38 billion in gaming revenues in 2012.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. operates the Marina Bay Sands, which collected $2.94 billion in gaming revenues in 2012. Malaysia-based Genting, which owns Resorts World Sentosa Island, reported $2.91 billion in gaming revenues Friday, as part of the company’s fourth quarter earnings announcement.
Nevada casinos collect $10.8 billion in 2012
Nevada’s casino industry posted its third straight annual gaming revenue increase in 2012 as the industry continues its modest recovery amid a sluggish economy.
Analysts noted the results were helped by high-end baccarat play, the game that has bolstered the industry’s bottom line since Las Vegas companies began doing business in Macau in 2004.
Statewide, casinos collected $10.86 billion in gaming revenue in 2012, a 1.5 percent increase over $10.7 billion in 2011.
“We are slowly increasing revenues,” said Michael Lawton, senior research analyst for the Nevada Gaming Control Board. “We are still 15.5 percent below the peak in 2007, but we are gradually moving in the right direction.”
Nevada gaming revenues were $12.8 billion in 2007, Lawton said. On the Strip, gaming revenues increased 2.3 percent over 2011 with casinos collecting $6.2 billion, marking a second straight year revenues topped $6 billion.
MGM Resorts International entered into a partnership with a Canadian real estate developer to bid on, build and operate a hotel-casino complex in downtown Toronto.
In a statement, MGM Resorts Chairman Jim Murren said the 50/50 joint venture with The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Ltd. gives the Las Vegas-based casino giant a partner with extensive Canadian development experience.
In Cadillac Fairview we are partnering with the industry leader in developing high quality properties across North America and a company with whom we share a common vision for the development of an iconic integrated resort in Toronto,” Murren said.
MGM Resorts, along with Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Caesars Entertainment Corp., are exploring a potential casino development in Toronto. The Ontario Lottery Corp. has selected Toronto, Canadas largest city, for a single casino destination. But the concept still needs the approval of city leaders and residents.
Fact-finding jaunt to China deemed "a complete success"
Nevada’s three Gaming Control Board members traveled to Macau [last] week in an effort to re-establish the relationship with their regulatory counterparts in the world’s largest gambling market.
Control Board Chairman A.G. Burnett characterized the trip as a “fact-finding’ mission and called the series of meetings, including talks with law enforcement officials in Hong Kong, “a complete success.”
He said the relationship between Nevada regulators and Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau – often referred to at the DICJ – had not been very strong in recent years.
“We’ve established a good rapport with the DICJ and will lead to a good era of cooperation and discussions amongst the two agencies,” Burnett said late Thursday. “We were well-received and, as with all things in Asia, these relationships take time to nurture.”
Inside Gaming: Pinnacle most interested in Lone Star State
Texas lawmakers will again take up the issue of gaming expansion during the state’s biannual legislative session that begins next week.
And, as in previous years, a gaming bill has as much chance of passing through both Lone Star State legislative houses as the Dallas Cowboys have of winning the Super Bowl with Tony Romo at quarterback.
Slim and none.
“There are a host of detractors and hurdles standing in the way of Texas passing gaming expansion anytime soon, from religious groups, out-of-state gaming interests, a conservative Legislature, and animal rights groups,” Union Gaming Group managing director Bill Lerner told investors.
National gaming expansion talks always focus on Texas when that state’s Legislature convenes for roughly five months in odd-numbered years.
Gaming stocks end 2012 on high note
What fiscal cliff?
Gaming stocks were oblivious to investor worries that the lack of a year-end agreement in Congress to avoid wide-ranging tax increases and spending cuts would push the economy over the edge.
The sector closed out 2012 on a positive note in December.
Of the 12 gaming companies followed by Las Vegas financial adviser Applied Analysis, 11 showed marked increases in their average daily stock prices during the month.
Eight of the companies finished 2012 with a higher average daily stock price than in 2011.
Applied Analysis principal Brian Gordon told the firm’s clients Monday in a research report that investors believed a compromise would likely take place in Congress concerning federal revenue enhancements and other measures.