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CR87-p20-comment:SJC-Casino Review 23/12/09 14:27 Page 1
“It’s coming back in force, as
each quarter goes by there’s
more and more demand. There’s
no question about it with even
greater recovery in 2011.”
La Vegas sands CEO Sheldon
Adelson believes Las Vegas
convention bookings will
recover in 2011 after collapsing
during the recession.
Has commercial
unlikely that we could save
CityCenter. Our legal and
gaming entered
financial advisers, plus all the
armchair quarterbacks, were
saying the chances of saving
a new cycle of
the project without bank-
ruptcy were minimal. So I’d be
lying if I said it wasn’t a great
concern of mine. If we deliver
on the high level of service we
believe we will provide, that
Could it be that the commercial gaming
will grow the entire Las Vegas
industry is slipping into a cycle of new
market. But I do not believe
we should be held account-
ownership? Phil Martin believes that able, or that the success of
developments across the world suggest it
CityCenter should be meas-
could be a possibility with banks and
ured by the numbers we put
up in the first week or month.”
governments leading the charge. ------
Jim Murran
MGM Mirage CEO
“Everybody is of the opinion
2009 has been a drastic year for that bigger is better. A project
most operators. The big freeze like that one, which includes
of the credit squeeze really took mixed-use development, is
a hold and although we are great for the community. I do
constantly told of green shoots, not necessarily believe it will
the economic thaw could leave expand the Las Vegas market.
a massive ice cap over certain parts of the sector. Politicians in But a project of that magni-
Russia and Ukraine wiped out their own industries long before the tude in Atlantic City would
economy could but numerous more sector cleansings are underway Quote Unquote expand our market. I think
in several markets across Europe with Poland and Bulgaria looking Atlantic City is still kind of in
to join their eastern European neighbours at a street level at least. a growth phase, where proj-
The new wave in several jurisdictions, Italy most notably, has been ects that have wow power
for Video Lottery Terminals to sweep into the markets. Governments
Every sign of the times
will bring more people here.”
love the VLT for the accounting possibilities they provide and also ------
because they are taxed at source, which in effect make them part
leads to CityCenter
Jeffrey Vasser
owners in any VLT enterprise. Not that operators in Holland or
President of the Atlantic City
Austria would bat an eye lid at that, but in North America where Convention & Visitors Authority
VLTs are being rolled out in more and more States, signalled by
Everyone has a view on Las Vegas’ newest attraction. Here’s four
governments needing to boost their coffers, the situation could well
very contrasting ones proving how opinion has been split.
“MGM’s CityCenter is a
develop into something more. State sponsored gambling? Well it’s radical departure from every-
been going on for years really. “I haven’t heard anyone who thing we’ve done up until
The other looming shadow in terms of new ownership comes in has seen it tell me it is going now. It is really something
the form of the banks with defaults and Chapter Elevens in the US to be a winner. They have no that raises very big questions
seeing the lenders actually take control or at least become equity strategy. They have no about size and scale, about
holders with a management team in place to continue to run the obvious plan. If they try to 2,700 condominium units
casino. Whilst on the face of things, to the employees and compete in the travel and and density. Those are real
customers, it’s a seamless transaction, the evolution of casino tour business, they will can- issues that have never been
ownership, which started so infamously with the Mob owned nibalise all their other prop- seen before. My Mirage had
Vegas of years gone by, could be entering an era where more erties, like the Bellagio. They been seen before. It just
banks and governments own casinos. don’t have a convention wasn’t recognisable. What we
Control of Atlantic City’s first ever venue Resorts was last month space big enough to make an were doing [at the Mirage]
signed over to RAC Atlantic City Holdings LLC, a new entity wholly impact. So they built it already existed in Las Vegas in
owned by Wells Fargo Bank NA. The deal sees Resorts become the without a strategy. How ill- three separate hotels: 2,100
first Atlantic City casino to be taken over by a lender. Yet in Las advisable is that?” rooms at the Hilton, 2,000
Vegas, the move has been a common conclusion following the ------ rooms at Bally’s and 1,300
squeeze on credit. Earlier this year, Greek Isles Casino was taken
Sheldon Adelson
rooms at Caesars. Every single
over by its lender, which foreclosed for $47m, whilst the “The economy is going to con- sure that paradigm about cre-
The Las Vegas Sands
aspect of our program was
Cosmopolitan Casino on the Strip was taken over by Deutsche Bank tinue to be weak next year and ating demand is relevant now. chairman speaking to Forbes responsible for huge success
AG after several defaults on more than $900m in borrowed money. so, even though visitation to CityCenter will cause some of at one part of those hotels or
The bank will now have to invest to complete the $3bn development. Las Vegas will be up modestly, the very low-end properties “I’m truly humbled by what the other, but they did not
It’s likely that the US industry will witness many more with all the new rooms there to go out of business or has happened over the past exist in one place. Hopefully
ownership wrangles in 2010 but given the state of government will continue to be pressure become irrelevant.” year. We were truly looking it [CityCenter] will be great.”
budgets one can’t help but wonder if there is a bigger picture to on room rates on the Strip. ------ into the abyss a few months ------
be considered in places like Poland and Bulgaria and perhaps Vegas has become so big now
Dennis Forst
ago, and I’m inspired that we
Steve Wynn
even, dare I say it, Russia, where the Duma’s proposals for four and there’s so much gaming
Gaming stock analyst,
are here today. There were
Speaking in La Vegas
designated gambling zones have so far fallen flat. around the country, I’m not KeyBanc Capital Markets times where it looked highly Weekly
20 January 2010 • comment
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