Las Vegas roars back

Casino stocks have been on fire the past 2 years, and January's gaming numbers show the momentum isn't slowing.

By Kim Peterson Mar 8, 2012 2:34PM
Image: Gambling (© Corbis)Las Vegas is no longer down on its luck.

Gambling revenue in Nevada rose nearly 18.4% in January to nearly $1.04 billion. It was the first $1 billion month for the state in more than three years, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Some of the increase had to do with the Chinese New Year holiday taking place in January this year instead of February. Las Vegas is among the top 10 places to visit for Chinese New Year, according to a recent report, and the city works hard to lure visitors from mainland China for the celebration.

Casinos on the Las Vegas Strip were the biggest winners in January, seeing a 29% increase in revenue, to $624 million. Downtown Las Vegas revenue rose nearly 14% to $47 million.

Investors responded well to the numbers, pushing up some casino stocks Thursday. MGM Resorts (MGM) rose more than 3% to $13.85. Las Vegas Sands (LVS) was up 2% to $55.12, and Wynn Resorts (WYNN) rose less than 1% to $123.10.

Those casino stocks are already getting a big push from outstanding operations in Macau. Casino revenue rose 22% there in February to $3.04 billion -- a feat even more remarkable, considering the absence of Chinese New Year that month. About 60% of Wynn's net revenue comes from Macau, Trefis reports.

Not too long ago, the casino sector was a nightmare. But casino stocks have come roaring back. Wynn shares have climbed 77% in two years, while MGM shares have risen 20%. Las Vegas Sands shares have soared 192%.

Only Caesars Entertainment (CZR) was stumbling Thursday, seeing shares slide more than 1% to $11.02. But Caesars holds less potential than its Vegas counterparts. It has no operations in Macau, for example, and it's saddled with huge debts.

Mar 8, 2012 5:04PM
Sure the casinos are recovering, but the rest of the community and it's economy is still in deep trouble. Unemployment, housing, school district and the state itself are not making up much ground. We still need the mining industry to step up.
Mar 9, 2012 11:39AM

Been here for five years, I don't see anything bad about Las Vegas. It is not like it was of course before the economic downturn, but that is not all bad. You have to look at the whole picture. It is a great place to live. Except for three hot months in the summer, the weather is just fine. I like the Summer heat, plus it is a dry heat, so it is not so bad. The people are friendly and is like home to me. Bought a nice house, at a sensible price in a nice neighborhood, its great here.

When most people think of Las Vegas, they think of the Strip. The Strip is for tourists as many locals don't go there. I have not been to the Strip in three years. There is nothing there that interests me, so I don't go there. There is plenty of other things to do here in Las Vegas that does not involve gambling. You have to look at the whole picture. 

Mar 9, 2012 12:54PM

I don't know who Kim Peterson is - but she needs a reality check - Vegas boucing back - why not talk to the thousands of people who are unemployed - why not talk to the thousands of -people who are losing their homes because they can not afford to pay their mortgages - why not talk to the thousands of people who have been forced to go on foods stamps and welfare - they only ones who are making money is the owners of the casinos - take a look at the most recent Forbes list and see who is on it - not many of the poor working population of the state but the owners of the casinos - get a life woman and write the truth not some garbage that you read about or look at the stock market to see what the casinos are doing - take a look at all the other industries and than say Las Vegas is bouncing back - talk to the little people and let them fill you in on things - than write your column!!!!!!!!


Mar 9, 2012 12:52PM

Roaring back?  No longer down on it's luck?  You can't be serrious.  Tell the 400+ that are about to be laid off from O'sheas that Vegas is roaring back.  "But it's to build a build a new shopping facility and a really cool ferris wheel!"  Yeah, I'm sure that will be of great comfort to them as they try to feed their families.  The state may have done well this quarter, but the truth is the casinos have BILLIONS in debt.  There are hundreds of thousands here unemployed in all sectors.  A billion dollars for the state doesn't mean squat to the rest of us.  When that money starts being reinvested in jobs, then you can toot the recovery horn.


Kim Peterson, you are clueless.  Try doing some real research before writing you next piece.

Mar 8, 2012 8:31PM
As a retired person who has lived in Las Vegas for 13 years now, it is still home.  I am still hanging on to my original plan and have not quit paying for that old mortgage even though they say my home has devalued by over 50%.  What a crock they are feeding us.  I purchased this house as a permanent home and they can devalue all day long, still not selling.  As for getting a better interest rate, yes I will be going about doing that for sure.  Still my home though, and even though these greedy politicians to include Harry Reid and his gang, intentionally confusing everything at every corner, this is their way to pocket more money, I will not only keep my home but because of my honesty and good will, probably will outlive them because they are so crooked and evil there is only one place for them and their sleeping partners, the banks.  All the rotten things that are going on in Las Vegas is not what the community of Las Vegas represents, it is a very nice place to live if not for the crooked banks and politicians, wait and see, Las Vegas will come out ahead of everyone in the nation, because they have put us in the lowest part of polls, we are fighters there and we will survive, Via Las Vegas
Mar 9, 2012 2:15PM

lets a take a casino for an example -- flamingo....


lets have floor supervisors watch 8-10 games vs. 4 which is standard;

lets have house keeping cut their staff in half by firing, layoffs etc... and cover 3 times the load,

lets cut security back so they can never respond to a call in a timely fashion...

lets give ceo loveman and the western states president a bonus for altering the employees way of receiving time off - -

remember - there are no holidays in casinos for the employees, only the days they can get off - which are never holidays for other employees...

people will goto flamingo because it is for cheap players, low risk, and its the middle of the strip.

that is how you produce a win win for the bosses...


but you say the stocks are down for ceasars - perhaps shelling out 100 million for 3 years to celine is something to look at...

Mar 9, 2012 1:19AM
Yeah, the Chinese have all of the money these days. Glad they are spending here in the USA. Appreciate the business folks. We need all we can get until Obama is discharged from duty in 2013.
Mar 9, 2012 2:29PM
I have lived here five years. It is a nice place to live, but I don't think anything is roaring back. If you are looking for a job, it ain't here and may not be here for a long time. I came here to retire, not look for a job. I brought my money with me.
Mar 8, 2012 10:12PM
Anyone heard of TAX returns, revenue will be up for two months and drop like a lead ball nothing new this happens every year here in Vegas I know I work soft count which means I count all that money .......
Mar 8, 2012 9:17PM
The Vegas housing market lost is value in a couple years and will regain (at some point) that value just as quickly.  When the economy is bad, Vegas is the first to be hit... and last to come back... but when it does baby... it'll be roaring back.  Some folk think negatively about Vegas but some like it... and for that "some", it's the only place in the world like it.  Furthermore... what a lot of people oversee is the fact that Vegas is a destination for the WORLD, not just Americans... Billions of people... and they love that wild and crazy Vegas scene.
Mar 8, 2012 8:29PM
Hey Leftout 11;  True words.  Power of the press, nothing but lies from them, and sometimes, half truths.  Their propaganda tactics suck.  Politicians and the Press, Oil Companies, Automobile Industries, and Banks.  All deceptions and lies, and they have ALL the $$$ locked up with their greed.  They don't care about our dear country, they care about nothing but their wealth.  They truly run this country.
Mar 9, 2012 3:38PM

Las Vegas is NOT roaring back, UNFORTUNATELY, nor is most of this once fine nation.


(This is media hype-lies, but I understand [somewhat] why they are printing this.  The USA is in a slump and "we" are being encouraged to keep up our hope.)


By the way, casinos are not to blame for the poor economy. 


The US Fed is mostly responsible.

Mar 9, 2012 1:48PM

heres where vegas is at....


home prices have dropped nearly 50-75%,

 casinos hire employees that work 5-6 days a week - split days off, have them wait 2+ years until benefits kick in...

 as the casions promise that the health insurance is not increasing via premiums - the benefits themselves are dropping off...


i could go on - but i left vegas after 8 years - it is a downward spiral.


talk about how much money the casinos are making and talk about how the public schools are the worst in the nation.


kim - the casino big shots are making money. they are all runned by scoundral bankers - who have one motive - take.



Mar 9, 2012 4:32PM

unless you deal in vegas, wait in vegas, bartend, change sheets, take reservations, security, take tickets or seat people, clean toilets, serve people etc....


you know that this article is nothing more than propaganda b.s.

Mar 9, 2012 11:20AM
Smile Casonos are effecient money sucking machines it won't take long to drain a lake.Nerd
Mar 8, 2012 8:21PM

I hope the Vegas housing market sucks long enough for me to get out there and buy a condo...After 12 years in Hill Billy Hell it's time to get back to the West Coast!


My house goes on the market next week, wish me luck !


left out 11... I won't need to work there. Sorry for all who do. I'm retired.

Mar 9, 2012 4:07PM

if you goto any of the casinos web sites - you will notice quite a few jobs offered...


though what they do not mention -

 is what they are really looking for is foreigners who will not protest working 12 days in a 2 week period, that you will not recieve holiday pay,

 that you will not get 2 days off in a row,

  that it will take 2+ years to receive benefits,

 that there is no 401k pension match,

 that your meals are now garbage,

that the wait staff that tends to the dealers tables have been cut in half which will affect your tokes because you are dealing at a table with players that complain they have no drinks,



Mar 9, 2012 3:33PM
Many on here seem to blame the casinos for the economy.  If people cannot afford their mortgage and lose their home or job, this is not because of the casinos, it is because of the economy.  The Federal government is to blame, with its policies that allowed mortgages with no collateral which eventually brought our economic system to fail.  I do not think Vegas is roaring back but it is a fun city to visit.  I hope the casinos are again profitable and able to hire more people and cater to their every need.  Our economy may again face uncertain times if we elect people that cannot control government spending and pay down our debt.  We, the people, need to take care of our "business" on election day and throw our democrats and republicans that cannot control our wasteful government spending.
Mar 9, 2012 11:29AM

Las Vegas loosened their slots for awhile. It was great. But now they are back to normal. Look to leave more of your money there.

Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.


StockScouter rates stocks from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, using a system of advanced mathematics to determine a stock's expected risk and return. Ratings are displayed on a bell curve, meaning there will be fewer ratings of 1 and 10 and far more of 4 through 7.

124 rated 1
266 rated 2
452 rated 3
702 rated 4
671 rated 5
604 rated 6
640 rated 7
495 rated 8
267 rated 9
158 rated 10

Top Picks




Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.

Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.

Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.