Vegas gaming stocks have bad day


las-vegas-skylineA number of firms in the casino business were affected by a downturn in the US stock market that occurred yesterday. Gambling industry giant MGM Resorts International saw the steepest dive as the beleaguered market reacted to Kirk Kerkorian’s private investment arm selling around 200 million shares in the firm that netted him around $214.8m. The markets responded as if they’d been on an all night bender and didn’t like the emergence of their hangover. It meant shares in the firm depreciated by 13.34% on Thursday finishing down $1.54 at $10 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Other casino firms didn’t escape scot-free. Wynn Resorts saw the largest price per share drop as they fell $11.60 (7.86%) on the Nasdaq National Market, finishing at $136.

Brian Gordon, a principal at Las Vegas financial advisor Applied Analysis, explained, “The gaming sector continues to follow trends in the broader equities markets as global economic concerns persist. Fear, anxiety and speculation is driving volatility in the market. While the fundamentals in the markets in which gaming operators compete have not changed overnight, the public’s perception about gaming companies, like the overall economy, has clearly shifted.”

Ameristar Casinos joined Wynn and MGM on the down slope, their shares down 7.37% to $18.59. International Game Technology joined the party with share dropping by 9.67% to $14.11.

The Vegas-based firms were still recovering from the stocks dropping off exactly two weeks ago. Even though they generate most of their revenue from Asian markets, New York doesn’t leave anyone out when the market drops it seems – unless you’re Apple or Gold of course.