Not all investors are created equal. Factors and metrics can matter differently for each of us, and as a beginner, it's important to decide which are essential to you before investing your hard-earned cash in a business.

Let's take a look at three companies in the gaming sector -- Wynn Resorts (NYSE: WYNN), Melco Crown Entertainment (NYSE: MPEL), and Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) -- to see which one is right for you.

Wynn Resorts
Wynn Resorts' executives own 16.1% of the company. That means they have nearly $2.2 billion of their own money on the line. It isn't the highest ownership in the industry, but when you pair that with top-flight management, the company makes a great stable choice for a somewhat volatile sector. Wynn also pays a dividend, which indicates they have investors' best interests at heart.

Melco Crown Entertainment
Another set of important metrics (especially for gaming companies) is how much cash the casinos are generating (using property EBITDA) versus the value of the company (using enterprise value, or EV). Fellow Fool Travis Hoium recently took a look at these companies using this metric. Below are the results of what he found (you can click here to get more details):



Melco Crown Entertainment 8.19
Wynn Resorts 9.62
Las Vegas Sands 11.54

Source: "The Best Stock in Gaming."

What that boils down to is that, of the companies above, Melco Crown is currently bringing in the most earnings for investors relative to how much the company is being valued by the market. This could mean big bucks for investors down the road if valuations relative to EBITDA rise to the levels of their competitors over time.

Las Vegas Sands
Las Vegas Sands owns casinos in multiple U.S. locations, Macau, and Singapore. That doesn't really sound exciting until you realize that LVS is the only company mentioned in this article with a presence in all three of the world's top gambling markets. While the domestic market hasn't been faring well the last few years, there is plenty of growth opportunity internationally. And with Las Vegas Sands enjoying dibs on one of the two only casinos allowed to operate in Singapore until 2017, investors should consider getting in while the company has a head start.

Perfection is subjective, Fool
Of the companies above, I like Wynn the best. But as we saw, Travis prefers Melco Crown. And to really get motley on you, Fool Austin Smith is loving Las Vegas Sands right now. Each company has something different to offer investors, but which one do you like for your own portfolio? Click below to add it to your Watchlist:

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.