CASINO

Las Vegas encouraged, Atlantic City discouraged, Macau keeps printing money

TAGs: Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Macau, SJM Holdings

vegas-atlantic-city-macau-moneyPerhaps those Western casino execs were right when they claimed that Las Vegas had hit bottom. Las Vegas Strip gambling revenue took a bit of an upward tack in September, growing 2.8% to $520m, mostly on the strength of baccarat winnings. However, when all of Las Vegas’ gaming properties were considered, the increase dropped to 1.5% (to $786m), and when all Nevada casinos are factored in, the increase shrinks further to under 1% (to $918m).

On the east coast, Atlantic City had an October worthy of ghouls and goblins, as casino gambling revenue fell 12% to $284m. Slot machine revenue was off 10% from the previous October, while table games were off 17%. Overall, for the year casino revenue is down 9.1% compared to the first 10 months of 2009. As usual, increased competition from neighboring Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland is being blamed.

It wasn’t all bad news, however. Non-gaming revenue is actually growing, and The Tropicana and Trump Marina casinos bucked the trend by posting gaming revenue increases of 7.1% and 3.4% respectively. Good timing for the Tropicana, what with regulators meeting on Wednesday to decide whether to grant the joint a new license (which they did, for a one-year term).

Finally, for a dose of perspective, Las Vegas Sands’ Macau operation more than doubled its quarterly profit to almost $200m. And, oh yeah, Stanley Ho’s SJM Holdings posted that six-fold increase in Q3 earnings. Seems the only thing hitting bottom in Macau is the black ink on gaming firms’ bottom lines.

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