Thursday, September 4, 2008

Gambling Stocks / Harrah's Entertainment Hotel/Casino Availability Calendar -Las Vegas

I somehow stumbled across this calendar while trying to find things to do in Vegas & change my room for one night on a planned trip out to Vegas.

I thought it might interest people to see how Harrah's prioritizes/prices their casinos. Caesars ifs their flagship property and Imperial Palace is for the more economically minded folks.

Harrah's Entertainment Hotel/Casino Availability Calendar -Las Vegas

So, when I look at Vegas you have WYNN, LVS & MGM as the publicly traded "flagship" casinos. WYNN/LVS are Vegas/Macau Plays (they have a higher % of revenue derived/potential derived) from over in Macau If I wanted a pure play investment on Macau I would buy MPEL (Melco Casinos). If I wanted the next best investment for Macau I would by LVS since I hear the Venetian is phenomenal/just as good over there. Additionally, you get a hedge with the Venetian here in the U.S. I've heard that MGM/Wynn kind of skimped on their stuff over there vs. Vegas.

Now, if I had to invest in Vegas HANDS DOWN I would buy MGM since they own 80% of the best casinos in that city. You would get a tad exposure to Macau but realistically it is a Vegas play plain and SIMPLE.

Why am I babbling about Macau?

"Today, Macau has become the Las Vegas of China. It is the only city in the region with fully legalized gambling. And gambling is deeply engrained in the Asian culture. Plus, Macau is within a five-hour flight of three billion people - nearly half the world's population. 80% of their revenue is derived from whales (concern there). The majority (55%) came from mainland China, but many more visited from Hong Kong (30%) and Taiwan (9%). These tourists are flocking to Macau not because of its history or picturesque seaside location. They're coming to gamble.

Non Macau Thoughts
Harrahs used to be an investment that was based on proliferation of gaming throughout the U.S. since their Horseshoe/Harrahs branded casinos were expanding throughout the U.S. Since they were taken private last year in a HUGE private equity takeover I won't talk about them anymore.

There are other gaming stocks/investments but they have different themes.

Here are some of them

Isle of Capri (ISLE) <-growth of gaming throughout the U.S. I personally find their casinos to be too dumpy for me. Tropicana Entertainment filed for Chapter 11 in May 2008, defaulting on $2.67 billion in bank and bond debt.

IGT (International Gaming Technology) - IGT is the world's leading slot machine manufacturer. In addition to basic slot machine design and sales, the company generates more than half of its revenues by leasing machines to casinos in exchange for a percentage of the net win. In a recent poll conducted by Casino Player magazine, seven of the top ten most popular video slots were introduced by IGT.

Dan Ross

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