When gaming in Macau opened to Las Vegas Sands
There once was a time when casinos were profitable in the East Coast town, but they eventually became overbuilt and run down, falling to competition from Las Vegas. Could we be seeing the same movie playing out with Las Vegas's competitor half a world away?
What happened in Vegas
The short-term story is just the continuation of a long-term trend: visitors looking for deals and unwilling to throw down big dollars on gambling. Visitation to Las Vegas was actually up 1% in February year over year and is up 4.8% in the first two months of 2011 -- positives that haven't translated to slots and table play.
Gaming, which drives everything in Las Vegas, was down 9.6% on the Las Vegas Strip and 6.7% statewide in February. This was partly because of a bad hold percentage and lower revenue on sports betting, but to keep up with supply, gaming dollars need to be increasing. So while the figures might not be as bad as they appear, there's no good news here.
Know when to fold 'em
I've been leery of Las Vegas for quite a while, and it looks like staying cautious there will continue to be the way to go. Despite analysts upgrading Vegas-centric MGM Resorts and Boyd Gaming
Melco Crown Entertainment is a Motley Fool Global Gains recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.