Tags: MGM-Resorts | Wynn | Las-Vegas | Strip | Gambling | Sales | Rise

MGM Resorts, Wynn Jump as Las Vegas Strip Gambling Sales Rise

Friday, 08 Oct 2010 02:02 PM

Shares of MGM Resorts International, Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Wynn Resorts Ltd. rose after Las Vegas Strip gambling revenue jumped 21 percent in August, showing the biggest U.S. casino city is emerging from a record slump.

Revenue rose to $544.4 million from $449.6 million in the same month a year earlier, Nevada’s Gaming Control Board said today in an e-mail. Strip casino proceeds increased 4.5 percent in the first eight months of this year.

The three biggest publicly traded Las Vegas-based casino owners noted signs of improvement on the Strip in the second half during their most recent quarterly earnings announcements. Jim Murren, chief executive officer of MGM Resorts, the biggest Strip owner, projected a “very solid” October in an interview last month, as conventions return and vacationers help fill the city with last-minute bookings.

MGM Resorts rose 7.3 percent to $12.56 at 11:09 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Las Vegas Sands gained 3.2 percent to $36.92. Wynn Resorts added 3.5 percent to $92.36 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Revenue for all Nevada casinos gained 12 percent to $944.5 million in August, the board said. Monthly proceeds for Clark County, which includes downtown Las Vegas as well as the Strip, climbed 14 percent to $806.1 million.

Resort operators in the largest U.S. casino and conference market are booking more conventions to drive room prices higher after slashing rates to attract gamblers and vacationers for more than two years.

About 21.9 million people visited the Nevada city in the seven months through July, a 2.3 percent increase from a year earlier, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Convention attendance fell 1.4 percent and average daily rates at Vegas hotels rose 1 percent.

Passenger traffic at the area’s McCarran International Airport fell 2.4 percent in the eight months through August, according to Clark County Department of Aviation data released last month. That extended last year’s record 8.2 percent drop and 2008’s 7.7 percent decline, as carriers including UAL Corp.’s United Airlines cut flights.

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