MGM Mirage, Bally’s, Wynn, Harrah’s Lose Out During Tough Times

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Feb/23/2009
Las Vegas

Las Vegas is hurting during these rough economic times.  Hotels on the strip have drastically slashed room rates in an effort to compete.

But the likes of MGM Mirage, Bally's, Wynn, Harrah's and a whole slew of others appear to be losing out in a big way.

The online gambling sector is a multi-billion dollar industry that continues to thrive despite the economic downturn.  Sure these Vegas giants want to get in on the action once all the legalities are ironed out.

Vegas casino companies can be doing more now to capitalize on the Internet gambling market however.

"Why are they not advertising on websites that cover online gambling?" asks Payton O'Brien, Senior Editor of the Gambling911.com website.  "There are literally dozens of such sites covering the gamut of sports betting, online casino gambling and poker."

O'Brien estimates that over 80 percent of those who read Gambling911.com are gamblers.

"If the Vegas casinos want to reach the folks most likely to gamble and be enticed to take advantage of these great hotel rates in Vegas, what better place to advertise than a popular gambling news site the likes of Gambling911.com?" O'Brien asks.  "This seems to be a no-brainer to me."

And the Las Vegas hotel casinos need to start marketing more effectively.  The bleeding continues to get worse.

"For some reason the Las Vegas casinos have always used the excuse that they would not advertise on websites and in publications that also feature online casinos," O'Brien said.  "That mindset no longer makes sense in this brutal economy when Vegas is desperate to reel in new visitors.  We are here to help!"

Just how bad are things with the casinos?

From the Motley Fool earlier this month:

"Seventeen casino operators are at a high risk of default, says Moody's Investors Service. The endangered species list contains mostly small, private companies. And those are just the worst of the bunch. No commercial casino operator followed by Moody's or Fitch Ratings has an investment-grade rating. "

According to Motley Fool, Harrah's Entertainment, which was taken private in early 2008, saw its long-term debt nearly double to $24 billion by Sept. 30, compared to Dec. 31, 2007. In late December 2008, Harrah's won some breathing room by exchanging some existing debt for new debt, pushing back the maturity dates on obligation.

"It's common sense for these Vegas companies to market smart," O'Brien says.  "The same people who gamble online are betting small, looking for opportunities, but Las Vegas tends to be out of reach most of the time.  Not now!  Vegas is super cheap.  One can stay on the Strip for under $40 a night at the best hotels.  Online gamblers will not hesitate to take advantage of these types of bargains, especially when Sin City offers a chance to win money."

Jagajeet Chiba, Gamlbing911.com        

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