Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Casino operator Boyd Gaming (NYSE: BYD) finished the day with a 10% gain, as investors cheered a strong report on gaming activity in Las Vegas.

So What: According to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, gaming revenues on the Las Vegas Strip surged a whopping 21% year over year in August, to $544 million. Not surprisingly, shares of other Las Vegas-based casinos such as Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS), Wynn Resorts (Nasdaq: WYNN), and MGM (NYSE: MGM) are up big on the news.

Now What: It's been a rough few years for many casino operators; Boyd is down almost 80% in that time frame. Today's news is good, but investors need to keep an eye on the bigger picture -- especially the company's ability to handle its debt load.

Interested in more info on Boyd Gaming? Add it to your watchlist here by clicking here.

Fool analyst Rex Moore owns no companies mentioned here. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.