The first three months of 2013 have sparked cautious optimism for the economic recovery of Nevada’s casino industry.
A new report for March appears to build on that trend.
Statewide gaming revenues grew 7.04 percent in March to $914.8 million, the state’s second-straight monthly increase. On the Strip, gaming revenues grew 13.13 percent to $507.6 million, the second straight double-digit increase .
For the first three months of the year, statewide gaming revenues are up 2.6 percent. Strip gaming revenues are up 6.7 percent.
Following release of the figures Friday by the Gaming Control Board, analysts told investors they wanted to see more than just three months of Strip gaming revenue totals before deeming the patient fully cured.
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.
Sports arena part of the package
MGM Resorts International will spend $100 million to transform land along the Strip and surrounding the New York-New York and Monte Carlo resorts into an outdoor plaza and pedestrian mall with trendy shops, restaurants and a public park.
The plaza will serve as a gateway into a 20,000-seat sports arena, which the company will build behind the two resorts with national arena developer AEG.
The facades of New York-New York and Monte Carlo will be renovated as part of the retail, dining and entertainment district. The development will include several eateries, nightlife venues and entertainment attractions new to Las Vegas.
MGM Resorts announced the development today . Some initial construction has begun, and the company expects the retail and restaurant complex to open by early 2014.
“Our vision is to dramatically change the sidewalk along the Las Vegas Strip, creating an area that will greatly enhance the area and create an energy that you find in the world’s great cities,” MGM Resorts Chairman Jim Murren said in an interview.
Crackdown on unchecked debauchery at nightclubs and resort pools
Two high-profile incidents and the fast-approaching summer months led state gaming regulators and Las Vegas police to issue a stern warning Thursday to hotel-casino operators: Keep a close watch on your nightclubs and pool parties or face disciplinary action for any illegal activity.
In a memorandum from Gaming Control Board Chairman A.G. Burnett and Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie, resort leaders were told they are responsible for any criminal conduct in their venues, even if a nightclub, ultra lounge or day club is operated by a third-party vendor.
“Recent investigations have not only shown a lack of enforcement effort to curtail criminal activity on the part of patrons, but that venue staff have played an active role in condoning and/or facilitating the criminal activity,” Burnett and Gillespie wrote.
In an interview, Burnett said last month’s shooting and ensuing multicar wreck on the Strip, which left three people dead, played a large role in the notice to gaming licensees. The grisly, pre-dawn shooting had its origins in a dispute at the Aria valet area.
Is Chinese New Year and baccarat bubble really to blame?
Gaming revenues in January fell 12.4 percent statewide and 18.7 percent on the Strip based on a challenging comparison to figures produced by Nevada’s resort industry a year ago.
The Gaming Control Board said Friday that Nevada casinos collected $909.2 million from customers during January, down from $1.038 billion a year ago. On the Strip, casinos won $507 million, compared with $623.5 in the same month of 2012.
January 2012 was the state’s first billion dollar gaming revenue month since September 2008 – a 40-month drought – fueled by the lucrative Chinese New Year holiday celebration.
This year, Chinese New Year, and the high-end baccarat play associated with the event, fell into February.
Because Chinese New Year moves around the calendar, gaming analysts said the combined two-month figures provide a better reading.
Potential competition for UNLV's $900 million "Mega-Event Center"?
The Las Vegas arena race drew a new deep-pocketed private competitor Friday when MGM Resorts International said it will partner with a powerhouse arena builder and break ground late this year for a new 20,000-seat arena on the Strip without a nickel of public money.
MGM Resorts will join forces with national arena developer AEG to build the sports and entertainment venue on its land behind the Monte Carlo and New York-New York. MGM did not offer a price tag or drawings. Construction should take 24 to 30 months after a late-2013 groundbreaking.
MGM, which owns 10 Strip hotel-casinos and the 17,000-seat MGM Grand Garden and 12,000-seat Mandalay Bay Events Center, moves to the head of the pack of contenders aiming to build an arena in the Las Vegas market.
Developer Chris Milam’s proposed arena in Henderson crashed and burned in 2012 when he said he could not rope in the NBA’s Sacramento Kings. Meanwhile, the city of Las Vegas’ agreement with The Cornish Group development company to build an arena in Symphony Park appears to be stalled. The exclusive deal between the city and Cornish will expire by the end of this year.
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.
Nevada casinos lose $1.21 billion in fiscal 2012
When does a net loss of more than $1.21 billion not seem so bad?
When it’s compared with a net loss of almost $4 billion in the previous year.
Nevada’s casino industry suffered through its fourth straight fiscal year net loss despite 4.4 percent growth in total revenues over the 12-month period, according to the annual Gaming Abstract, which the Nevada Gaming Control Board released Wednesday.
The report compares revenues and income produced by casinos generating more than $1 million in gaming revenues during the fiscal year, which ended June 30.
In 2012, the abstract included results from 265 casinos statewide. Together, the casinos had a net loss of $1.21 billion on total revenues of more than $22.9 billion. In fiscal 2011, 256 casinos generated a net loss of almost $4 billion on revenues of $22 billion.
Strip forecast sees $1.5 billion invested over next two years
After two years of modest reinvestment and upgrades of Strip properties, a group of gaming industry analysts and brokers thinks more than $1.5 billion will be invested by companies and investors in the Las Vegas gaming real estate market over the next two years.
Colliers International issued the upbeat forecast to introduce its new gaming division.
Already a well-known player in the office, industrial and retail sectors of the commercial real estate business, the firm brought in veteran Las Vegas-based analysts and brokers to create the Colliers International Gaming Group.
Mike Mixer, head of the gaming group, said the new division will provide asset valuations, advice on strategic acquisition and sales, and tax services. The gaming group includes Gabe Telles and Josh Smith, who both recently worked at CB Richard Ellis.
Limited development projects, Internet poker debate will occupy gaming in 2013
The Linq won’t be confused with CityCenter.
Then again, analysts have said the last thing the Strip needs right now is another massive hotel-casino complex. The Las Vegas gaming market is still in economic recovery mode after the recession sent gaming figures crashing back to 2004 levels.
Through September, Strip gaming revenues have increased 2.5 percent over the same nine months of 2011, lending some to speculate that the market is slowly coming back.
This brings us back to The Linq.
As 2013 unfolds, the $550 million nongaming Linq is one of three Strip construction projects expected to heat up during the year.
Expect continued economic growth on "modest levels"
The most challenging period for Las Vegas and its largest industry, gaming and hospitality, appears to be in the rearview mirror, according to a report released Thursday.
In its report, the Newmark Grubb Knight Frank Global Gaming Group expect total revenue generated by properties on the Strip to increase between 1.5 percent and 5.3 percent in 2013, assuming a negligible increase in the supply of hotel rooms.
“Improvements in U.S. household net worth, an important leading indicator for Strip revenue performance, should provide baseline support for 2013,” said Brent Pirosch, director of Gaming Consulting for NGKF’s Global Gaming Group.
Pirosch noted that softness in the U.S. housing market, along with “a fragile recovery and ongoing economic uncertainty in the U.S. and abroad will keep 2013 revenue growth on the Las Vegas Strip at modest levels.”
In a 70-page report, the analysts said the Strip was in a good spot in 2012, with revenue growth at the upper end of their forecast.