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Gambling Industry Not Recession Proof We Learn

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Dec/23/2008
Las Vegas Bowl

The top story in 2008 according to CasinoCity.com, the thinking that the casino industry is "recession proof" is no longer true and, unfortunately, that has been the biggest news of 2008.

The numbers are not pretty. Nevada gaming revenues fell 22.3 percent in October, the single largest monthly drop in state history and the 10th straight month gaming revenues have fallen in Nevada. For the year, gaming revenues are down 8.3 percent statewide. Casinos statewide won just under $905 million during October, compared with $1.165 billion in October 2007, according to figures released Wednesday by the Gaming Control Board. The figure was the lowest statewide one-month total since April 2005. On the Strip, gaming revenues were $475 million, a drop of 25.8 percent compared with $639.9 million a year ago.

Just last week, the bleak economy restrained Las Vegas Sands Corp.'s share growth along with the rest of the gaming sectors.

Shares of Las Vegas Sands slid 61 cents, or 8.1 percent, to $6.89 in afternoon trading - off 93 percent since peaking a year ago at a 52-week high of $105.38.

MGM Mirage Inc., which owns 10 casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, has laid off about 3,200 workers here since October 2007. Harrah's Entertainment has cut 1,800 workers since January. And Deutsche Bank analyst Bill Lerner told investors in a note on Monday that he is tracking more delayed projects in Las Vegas than ever before.

Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com        

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