Posts Tagged ‘Wynn Resorts’

Fiscal Cliff Concerns Add Volatility to Gaming Sector

by , Dec 4, 2012 | 10:00 am

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.

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Wynn Makes Play for Last Casino License in Philly

by , Nov 20, 2012 | 1:00 pm

Steve Wynn is going to bid for the last casino license in Philadelphia.

The chairman of Wynn Resorts Ltd. proposes to build a 150,000-square-foot casino with 900 slot machines and 100 table games and a 300-room hotel on about 60 acres of waterfront property, a company spokesman confirmed Thursday.

Michael Weaver, senior vice president marketing strategy at Wynn Resorts, said the company will file for a casino license by the state’s Nov. 15 deadline. The Las Vegas-based gaming company had proposed building a $600 million casino in the spring of 2010 in Philadelphia before pulling out.

“We are excited about Philadelphia and the opportunity afforded by our piece of property on the banks of the Delaware River,” said Wynn, who is also his company’s CEO. “It allows for a luxury hotel complex and the introduction of the Wynn brand to Philadelphia.”

Wynn said his assignment was to build a resort that attracted visitors to the city.

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From Vegas to Macau to Toronto?

by , Nov 19, 2012 | 10:00 am

A study by UNLV’s International Gaming Institute concluded a resort complex featuring a hotel, casino, convention space and other entertainment amenities in the heart of Toronto could stimulate the economy of Canada’s largest city.

Instead of cannibalizing the market, the complex would spur growth for any surrounding businesses.

Meanwhile, the worldwide accounting firm Ernst & Young found that Toronto could collect almost $200 million a year from a casino complex in the form of tax revenues, on top of a one-time sale or lease of city-owned land.

So it wasn’t a surprise last week that Toronto city leaders, following the public release of the two reports, decided to ask residents if they favor a casino.

It’s also no wonder that Caesars Entertainment Corp. Senior Vice President Jan Jones and MGM Resorts Senior Vice President Alan Feldman are bumping into each other more often in Toronto than on the Strip.

Nevada’s biggest casino companies view Toronto as the industry’s next major battleground.

“It’s truly a potential destination we can’t ignore,” Jones said.

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Inside Gaming: As Feds Investigate Big Casino Biz Practices,
Steve Wynn Goes Mute with Obama Opposition

by , Sep 4, 2012 | 12:12 pm

Until recently, it appeared Steve Wynn had abandoned politics.

Wynn spent three years as the de facto voice of the gaming industry’s unofficial anti-Obama coalition, a high-profile membership of two than included Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman Sheldon Adelson.

Wynn provided the rhetoric. Adelson provided the money.

The chairman and chief executive officer of Wynn Resorts Ltd., never missed an opportunity to appear on Fox News or other conservative media outlets to bash President Barack Obama’s administration for what he considers its failings in handling the economy.

Wynn often peppered his remarks with bombastic comments.

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Are China’s Whales Fleeing Macau for Vegas?

by , Aug 2, 2012 | 12:53 pm

Maybe Southwest Airlines can loan Macau its Shamu fleet.

The Macau situation we reported on last month is getting worse. Macau gaming revenues grew only 1.5% in June, the slowest growth rate in three years, according to this Las Vegas Review-Journal article. And based on data from both the Wynn and Las Vegas Sands, more of China’s whales appear to be flying to Vegas to gamble.

In its latest Securities and Exchange Commission filing, 75.6% of all wagers on Las Vegas Sands’ Vegas table games were made on credit issued to whales. This is the highest whale credit number reported by LVS in at least eight years. It’s five percentage points higher than 2011 and up more than ten percentage points over 2010’s credit numbers.

Meanwhile, LVS’ whale credit in Macau has been shrinking. In the last quarter only 31.2% of table game wagers were made on credit, down from the 36.9% average in 2010.

In its most recent quarterly filing, Wynn reported that 82% of its table game markers were issued to non-US citizens, primarily from Asia. That’s seven percentage points higher than the same quarter last year.

The casinos benefit when whales chose Vegas over Macau. For one thing, the gaming tax in Macau is 12% versus Nevada’s 6.75% gaming tax. But there is another tax advantage. If the whales default on their markers in Vegas, the casino companies don’t have to pay taxes on the gaming revenues generated by those markers. In Macau, they do.

It may also be an advantage for China’s whales to play in Vegas. Macau junket operators, a primary source of whale funding, break legs are known to be more vigilant about collecting on bad loans.

The only real losers in the Chinese whale migration may be Nevada tax payers who, in effect, subsidize bad whale credit.


Is the Price of Poker Going Up?

by , Mar 13, 2012 | 12:36 pm

Vegas was hit hard by the bursting housing bubble and recession. As a result, WSOP-bound poker players found travel and lodging bargains over the past few summers. But with these and other ancillary economic factors in flux, 2012 could prove to be more challenging for frugal gamblers … unless you are an alcoholic vegan who flies no frills with no checked bags, rents a condo instead of getting a hotel room on (or near) the Strip, and opts out of any $1 million buy-in events. Then you should be OK.

Gas prices: If you’ve filled your gas tank lately, you know you’re paying more for a gallon of gas. On average, gasoline prices are running 7.8 percent higher than they were this time last year. If you’re planning a cross-country drive, you can anticipate some additional expense. Check out the gas prices by region here.

Airfares: Airlines are fairly efficient at passing on higher jet fuel costs to their passengers. Surprisingly, airfares to Vegas are substantially lower this year. Use Expedia’s “Trend Tracker” to see how much lower your route is this year over last. Low cost carriers have added flights to Vegas in the past year, keeping a lid on airfares. Spirit Airlines has added 119 weekly flights into Vegas since last year and Allegiant enjoy Air has added 32 flights per week — while higher cost carriers have cut back. Airport statistic geeks will McCarran’s monthly flight activity reports.

Hotel Rates: When MGM’s City Center opened in December 2009, it dumped more than 4,000 hotel rooms into an already saturated market. But the slow and steady economic recovery has been taking up some of the slack. As a result, the average daily rate (ADR) for hotels is higher this year. According to their latest financial statements, the ADR for MGM Strip properties is $127, up 10.4% from last year. The ADR for Caesars Entertainment’s Las Vegas properties is up 8.3 percent to $9.  The Wynn’s ADR is up 15.2 percent over last year, coming in at $242.

Condo/House Rentals: House and condo rental prices are marginally lower this year, according to the latest from HUD’s Fair Market Rents Data Set. If you and your friends are heading out for a prolonged WSOP stay, you might consider a short-term house rental. But be careful. Rental scams in Las Vegas involving foreclosed properties are not uncommon. Read this article to learn more about these scams.

Food and Beverage Prices: Overal, food and beverage prices are up 4.2% since last year. It’s especailly bad if you lived off hamburgers (up 10.6%) and coffee (up 15.4%). Vegans, however, will save this year (fresh fruits and vegatables are down 0.1%). And its not too bad for alcoholics. Stocking the bar at your condo will only be 2.1% more expensive this year. You can check out the BLS CPI report for more details.

WSOP Buy-Ins: If your goal is to play the most expensive event at the WSOP, you are going to have to fork over much more than last year. Last year’s $50,000 Poker Player’s Championship looks like a bargain compared with this year’s $1 million “Big One for One Drop” event. If $1,000 and $1,500 buy-in events are more your speed, however, you are in luck. The 2012 WSOP schedule includes two additional events in the weekend-warrior price range. Less good news for the frugal: juice is still 10 percent for these events (7 percent for entry fees and 3 percent for tournament staff).


Steve Wynn in Partner Spat over Asian Pursuits

by , Jan 26, 2012 | 2:29 pm

Shares of Wynn Resorts tumbled on January 12 when it came out that a Wynn director and major shareholder had filed a lawsuit against the casino company. Turns out Kazuo Okada, one of Steve Wynn’s original partners, is claiming the company made a questionable $135 million donation to the University of Macau and hasn’t been sharing its financial information with him. Reuters has a nice write-up here.

The veiled implication is Wynn’s sizable donation might have been less than philanthropic — bordering on a “pay to play” ante to retain favor in the world’s most lucrative gaming destination. (The competing Las Vegas Sands’ Macau operation is currently under DOJ and SEC scrutiny for possible infringement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, as referenced here in a Wall Street Journal blog.)

Wynn claims Okada’s lawsuit is just a smoke screen to mask the fact that Okada had been working behind Wynn’s back to develop a casino in the Philippines. You can read all the tawdry details in A Partners’ Fight Erupts at Wynn.

How will it end? Perhaps better than Steve Wynn’s marriage. After all, Wynn recently told the press, “I love Kazuo Okada as much as any man that I’ve met in my life.”

Wynn shares have since recovered from the drama at the start of January, but still have a ways to go in 2012 before reaching 2011 highs.