May 28, 2013
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.
May 1, 2013
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.
April 10, 2013
$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.
April 4, 2013
$1.5 billion challenge to Caesars expansion plans
Proposed Wynn Everett Casino
Wynn Resorts Ltd. on Wednesday unveiled plans for Wynn Everett, a roughly $1.5 billion resort it hopes to build next to the Mystic River in Massachusetts, as the Las Vegas-based gaming company looks to capture the sole Boston-area casino license.
Wynn Resorts said Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn did not attend the event.
President and Chief Operating Officer Gamal Aziz unveiled a single artists rendering of the resort that shows a 19-story, 550-room hotel that includes several low-lying buildings with glazed skylights. The plan includes gardens and a walking path leading to the river.
The company said construction would be completed in 24 to 36 months.
March 19, 2013
Wynn Looks to Expand Its Casino Base with High-Luxe Toronto Resort
A Las Vegas-based gaming company has sent a letter to Toronto’s city manager expressing its interest in building a luxury casino-resort.
Much of the public debate on this issue has centered around a false choice between an outdated big-box slots model and no casino, Gamal Aziz, president and COO of Wynn Resorts Development, wrote in a two-page letter.
I am writing you to make it clear that we would offer another option, Aziz wrote. That is to create a luxury resort and spa experience that will confirm Toronto as a major global tourist and convention destination, one that will integrate seamlessly into the urban fabric of the city while standing out as an architectural asset.
The letter was sent March 4. A copy was obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Monday. Aziz said Wynn Resorts would work closely with the city to find an appropriate location.
March 9, 2013
$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.
February 12, 2013
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.
January 28, 2013
High-roller convenience curtailed amid DOJ investigation
Nevada’s top gaming regulator said Friday his agency was aware of changes Las Vegas Sands Corp. implemented to its compliance procedures and expected other companies, both inside and outside the gaming industry, would take similar steps.
Las Vegas Sands, which operates casinos in Macau and Singapore, as well as The Venetian and Palazzo resorts on the Strip, halted the execution of international money transfers for its high-end customers, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
The moves came as the casino operator faces scrutiny from U.S. and international regulators, people familiar with the matter told the newspaper.
Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts Ltd. are both being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice for potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
January 21, 2013
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.”
January 15, 2013
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.
January 9, 2013
More valuable the Vegas golf course real estate?
Steve Wynn, founder and chairman of Wynn Resorts Ltd., on Friday terminated an option to buy a 2-acre tract on the company’s golf course in Las Vegas in return for the right to purchase any or all of the company’s aircraft.
The aircraft purchase option may be exercised upon 30 days written notice and at a price equal to their book filing, the Las Vegas-based gaming company said in a regulatory filing. The option for the jets will terminate when Wynn’s employment agreement with the company ends.
The deal was approved by the audit committee of the board of directors, according to the three-page filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
January 7, 2013
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.
January 2, 2013
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.
Despite a slowing Chinese economy
Despite a slowing Asian economy and changes in the Chinese government, Macau casinos continue to churn out record gaming figures, a fact for which investors in three Nevada gaming companies are forever thankful.
Clearly, Macau wasn’t going to match 2011′s 42 percent revenue increase over 2010′s results. But 2012 did provide the highest single-month revenue figure in the gambling market’s history — $3.5 billion in October.
For investors in Wynn Resorts Ltd., Las Vegas Sands Corp. and MGM Resorts International, the monthly gaming revenue figures released by Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau continue to bring welcome results.
Nomura Securities gaming analyst Harry Curtis, who is based in New York, favors Las Vegas Sands over Wynn and MGM Resorts.
December 4, 2012
Casino companies seeing shaky stock prices
Concerns over the looming fiscal cliff added increased volatility to an already shaky gaming sector.
Average daily stock prices for eight of the 12 casino operators and slot machine manufacturers followed by financial consultant Applied Analysis tumbled in November.
Boyd Gaming Corp. and Caesars Entertainment Corp. experienced double-digit percentage declines in their average daily stock prices despite events that what many analysts termed as good news.
Overall, the stock price dip contributed to a 10 point decline in the Applied Analysis Gaming Index, which accounts for more than 300 different market variables. It finished at 420.52.
Applied Analysis principal Brian Gordon said mixed results in third-quarter earnings reports announced by several gaming companies contributed to the slide.