Experts weigh in on Nevada gaming market recovery

South Point Hotel Casino and Spa cashed in up to $4 million in salaries on busy weekends. Those good times were a few years ago. Since then, the Las Vegas economy has gone into recession. While the southern Nevada housing market went into recession, unemployment soared to record levels. The construction industry was almost forgotten.

Today, South Point owner Michael Gaughan says he’s lucky if we cash in on his $1.5 million salary over the weekend. “It’s like 200,000 construction workers are off the ground,” said Gaughan, who has operated casinos in the local gaming market for more than three decades. Paul Chakmak, chief operating officer of Boyd Gaming, said construction jobs have fueled many aspects of the Las Vegas economy as well as the profitability of the local gaming industry.

The construction of gaming, commercial, and residential neighborhoods has been key to Las Vegas’ economic boom. “The business doesn’t exist in any material way today,” Chakmak said. “Those jobs are gone and the local economy has had to readjust itself.” Wall Street and other gaming observers have boosted the gaming industry’s overall recovery to Strip, which accounts for 55 percent of Nevada’s annual gross gaming revenue. In 2010, strip gaming revenue rose 4.1 percent to more than $5.77 billion, the first annual increase in more than two years.

Local casino markets along the river in the south and midwest are showing signs of recovery. New gambling jurisdictions, such as Pennsylvania, are stealing from customers and businesses from deteriorating areas, such as Atlantic City. Experts believe that the Las Vegas-area market will recover one last time. Credit Suisse’s game analyst Joel Simkins said suburban Las Vegas is the hardest-hit gaming market in the U.S.

At North Las Vegas, home to the Aliante Station, Cannery Casino and Hotel, and casinos along Rancho Road, gaming revenue fell nearly 15 percent from a peak of $314.4 million in 2006 to $267.8 million last year. 슬롯머신

In the Henderson region, including Boulder Strip and Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall, Sunset Station Hotel & Casino, Green Valley Ranch Resort, Spa & Casino, and M Resort, record gaming revenue of $938.2 million in 2007 fell to $757 million last year, a 19.5% decline.

Meanwhile, gaming revenue at casinos in the region known as the Clark County balance, which includes Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa, South Point, Sun Coast Hotel and Casino, fell 24.4% from a peak of $1.35 billion in 2007 to $1.02 billion last year.

Along with declining revenues, high debt burdens, low financial times, and a lack of available capital through credit markets have sent local casino operators, Station Casino and Hubst Gaming, to Chapter 11 bankruptcy organizations. M Resorts’ debt was acquired by Penn National Gaming at a 73 percent discount. And two private equity groups are negotiating to acquire debt that includes Farms.

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