Penn National exits major project

By David McKee ~ March 31st, 2015 @ 11:25 am No Comments »

There’s one casino license left in Pennsylvania but favorite son Penn National Gaming won’t be the one developing it. “We are disappointed to be withdrawing from this Coat_of_arms_of_Pennsylvania.svgproject. However, given the continued softness in the economy and the level of market saturation — not just in Western Pennsylvania, but across the Commonwealth — we are regrettably unable to justify this investment at the statutorily required spending levels,” said Penn Chief Development Officer B.J. Fair, managing to throw shade on state policy in justifying the withdrawal from the Lawrence Downs Casino & Racing Resort project. The rest of the investment contains some familiar names, like Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider and the estate of Lewis Katz, both of whom were deeply involved with Continued >>

The Strip: February disappoints

By David McKee ~ March 31st, 2015 @ 9:40 am No Comments »

Las Vegas Strip casino revenues fell 4% in February, in a month that was mildly positive on a statewide basis, up 1%. Blame baccarat: Play was down 22%, although players took the Cosmo 1978house to the cleaners, with casino win down 23%. Were it not for the baccarat blowout, Strip gaming revenues would have been up 3%. J.P. Morgan analyst Joseph Greff wrote that “the market should continue to experience volatility in baccarat play given the slowdown in Chinese players; that said, non-baccarat table and slot handle volumes are getting better,” adding that slot revenue numbers were artificially low because the month ended on a Saturday. (Weekend slot play isn’t counted until Monday.) Even so, slot win rose 4.5%, even on 2% lower coin-in. Non-baccarat table play was flat, grossing $165 million.

For a change, locals play outdid the Strip, rising 4%, even with Downtown only Continued >>

Quote of the Day

By David McKee ~ March 30th, 2015 @ 2:46 pm No Comments »

“There is a reason bondholders restricted the funds that could be paid out to owners. boulderstation-picBondholders lost almost everything in Station Casinos’ Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, which followed a leveraged buyout that paid insiders $660 million with borrowed money … Even though Deutsche Bank and the other owners are ‘happy with the performance’ of Station Casinos, as the company described it recently, they shouldn’t pay themselves a special dividend by levering up the company and putting virtually all the risk on the unsecured creditors,” — Culinary Union Research Director Ken Liu, on a proposal by Station to borrow $300 million in order to pay dividends to ownership, a bit of crony capitalism that’s flown under the media radar.

Macao: What, us worry?; Florida grapples with gambling

By David McKee ~ March 30th, 2015 @ 1:43 pm No Comments »

Two Hong Kong-based stock analysts recently met with the Macanese Gaming Inspection & Coordination Bureau. Much to their surprise, when they asked “what
Chui Sai-Onpositive policy measures can be enacted to help stop the trend of negative gaming revenue growth,” they were led to believe “the current negative run-rate of gaming revenues is so far not a major concern.” This comes on the heels of Chief Executive Fernando Chui‘s prediction of a 31% decline in gambling revenues. Chui also vowed to “adjust the pace” of casino growth in Macao, “without changing the momentum.” (Two goals that sound, at first blush, irreconcilable.) He promised tighter regulation and more attention paid to problem gambling. Job losses, Chui warned, might be a side effect of his new policies.

Then there’s the dreaded Continued >>

Further Reading

Penn National exits major project

The Strip: February disappoints

Quote of the Day

Macao: What, us worry?; Florida grapples with gambling

Dr. Loveman’s voodoo; Reid hangs it up

Quote of the Day

Elaine Wynn’s credibility problem; Caesars faces tough scrutiny

Saving souls on Capitol Hill

Quote of the Day

Reid’s heavy hand; Staying the course in Macao

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