Gaming Companies Rise on Vegas Data

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(Associated Press) - Shares of some of the nation's biggest casinos climbed Thursday after preliminary figures showed Las Vegas gamblers spent more money in November.

The gambling revenue increase of 8.3 percent compared with the same month last year was the first growth in nearly two years, according to Moody's Investor Services.

"The overall improvement in these markets may be an early indication that consumers are more willing to spend money at casinos, at least in the Las Vegas area," Keith Foley, Moody's Senior Vice President, said in a statement.

But so far other U.S. gambling locations haven't noted similar increases, Moody's said. The ratings agency continues to have a negative outlook on the nation's gaming industry.

"We remained concerned that U.S. unemployment will remain high in 2010, which will put continued pressure on consumers' gaming budgets across the U.S. and gaming company operating profits," Foley said.

Figures on Nevada's December gaming revenue will be released next month.

Shares of Wynn Resorts Ltd. rose $2.70, or 3.9 percent, to $72.10 in afternoon trading while Las Vegas Sands Corp.'s stock climbed 45 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $18.74. Meanwhile, MGM Mirage shares were up 10 cents at $12.49.

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