@HowardStutz's Inside Gaming
The locals gaming market has suffered enough.
Gaming revenues produced by casinos in North Las Vegas, along the Boulder Strip, in Henderson and throughout unincorporated Clark County are down a collective 2.6 percent through April.
By comparison, during the first four months of 2013, gaming revenues have climbed 4.7 percent on the Strip and 1.8 percent statewide.
It long has been predicted that neighborhood casinos would be the last to recover as the Southern Nevada economy slowly ascends after bottoming out in 2010.
Amid all the doom and gloom, however, two analysts in the past week said they sense a rebound could take hold in the locals gaming market in the second half of the year.
WSOP big-boss Garber to oversee new operation
Caesars Entertainment Corp. said last week that it will spin off its interactive gaming business, Planet Hollywood and a planned casino in Baltimore into a separate company owned in part by the casino operator, the company’s stockholders and private equity firms Apollo and TPG.
Apollo Management and TPG Capital are expected to invest a combined $500 million in cash into Caesars Entertainment as part of the deal, which would create a “growth-oriented entity” controlled by Caesars Acquisition Co., a company created to facilitate the transaction.
Caesars Interactive CEO Mitch Garber will serve as CEO of the acquisition company and continue in his role with the interactive division, which owns the World Series of Poker.
In a statement, Caesars Entertainment, which has long-term debt of more than $20 billion, said the transaction would allow the company to fund growth opportunities in “a less levered and more flexible vehicle.”
But vision begins to emerge in fight for big state's gaming dollars
A new push for gaming expansion in Texas drew muted commentary from analysts Tuesday.
They have been down that road before.
A Texas state senator said this week that he has support for legislation to bring 21 large and small casinos to Texas and create a state gaming commission.
Casino expansion bills surface routinely in the state’s biannual legislative sessions, but the measures have universally failed.
Union Gaming Group Managing Director Bill Lerner doesn’t see much difference with the latest proposal, which calls for a state constitutional amendment to expand gaming.
“The issue of bringing casinos to Texas has been around for quite some time, but we haven’t heard much optimism around potential passage,” Lerner told investors. “There are notable detractors against gaming expansion.”
$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.
2-to-1 says it happens anyway, so why shouldn't Vegas be allowed to play?
In Europe, it’s known as novelty betting. Bookmakers from Paddy Power to William Hill post odds and take bets on a variety of activities, from who looks good to win the Nobel Prizes this year to whether Prince Harry’s next girlfriend will be a blonde or a brunette and who might host the Oscars in 2014.
Paddy Power’s favorite to host the Oscar’s next year is Justin Timberlake at 2-to-1 . The odds are 8-to-11 that Harry’s next girlfriend will be a blonde.
But what produces increased publicity if only modest handle for British bookmakers is betting on U.S. politics. And oddsmakers and gaming industry analysts in Las Vegas said that if successful, a Nevada state senator’s efforts to legalize betting on politics will produce more notoriety than revenue.
$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.
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.
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.
Conventions a key driver to the resurgence
Las Vegas, we didn’t quite make it to 40 million visitors in 2012, but we came close. When all was said and done, 39.7 million people came to the city in 2012, up 2.1 percent from 2011’s final total of 38.9 million visitors, according to the monthly Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority count released Friday. And even though it’s not quite 40 million, 2012 still was a record year for Las Vegas – the previous high was 39.2 million visitors in 2007.
“I’m happy that we had 500,000 visitors over our previous record,” said Kevin Bagger, the authority’s senior director of marketing.
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.
It hasn’t been the best of times for Atlantic City.
The question now is whether intrastate online gaming is the panacea that revives the Boardwalk.
Union Gaming Group managing director Bill Lerner believes the state’s Internet gambling bill sitting on Gov. Chris Christie’s desk could benefit the two Las Vegas gaming companies that own Atlantic City’s largest resort.
But the bill, which would allow Atlantic City casinos to operate a full catalog of online games — not just poker — would have different results for Boyd Gaming Corp. and MGM Resorts International.
The Borgata, which is now 50-50 owned by Boyd and MGM Resorts, is the market leader in Atlantic City — collecting roughly 20 percent of Atlantic City’s $3.05 billion in gaming revenues in 2012 — and figures to hold the same role in a potential Atlantic City Internet gambling space.
Lone Boston license up for grabs
As Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn confirms his intentions to build a $1 billion hotel-casino in Massachusetts, a key issue ahead will be obtaining local approval, a Las Vegas-based gaming industry analyst said Friday.
“To that end, there have been press reports in recent weeks suggesting that neighboring locations could oppose Wynn’s site,” Union Gaming Group principal Bill Lerner said in a research report. “In addition, Wynn is already bidding for a license in Philadelphia, and typically prefers to develop two projects (at most) at the same time.”
Wynn Resorts is developing its $3 billion hotel-casino complex on 51 acres on the Cotai Strip in Macau and has casino projects in Philadelphia and perhaps Massachusetts.
Let’s put some perspective on the record $38 billion in gaming revenues collected by Macau’s casino industry in 2012.
The figure is higher than the $35.64 billion collected by the entire U.S. commercial casino industry in 2011.
During December, Macau’s 35 casinos collected a single-month record of $3.5 billion in gaming revenues, more than half of what the Strip’s casinos collected in all of 2011.
Macau’s $38 billion gaming revenue take was a 13.5 percent increase from the $33.5 billion the market collected in 2011. However, Macau casinos grew gaming revenues 42 percent between 2010 and 2011.
“By and large, we believe the calendar year 2012 gross gaming revenue growth was ahead of most Wall Street estimates, the majority of which were ratcheted down throughout the year and conservative leaning, in our view,” Stifel Nicolaus Capital Markets gaming analyst Steven Wieczynski said.
Gaming Labs ready as Nevada Net poker nears
A move by Nevada gaming regulators to have independent testing laboratories certify gambling equipment could result in new technology reaching casino floors more quickly.
It also could mean the state’s move into Internet poker might happen on a faster pace.
Last week, slot machine makers Bally Technologies and International Game Technology were licensed by the Nevada Gaming Commission to supply potential Internet casino operators with the systems to conduct, manage and monitor online gambling.
The technology Bally and IGT executives said they would use in Nevada is already in use in Europe, where online gaming is already legal in some jurisdictions. However, the technology still needs Nevada certification. The systems should be familiar to Gaming Laboratories International and BMM International, the two private labs registered by the Gaming Control Board on Thursday to test equipment for Nevada.