Las Vegas Strip Casino Revenue Falls for Eighth Month

(Bloomberg) – Las Vegas Strip casino gambling revenue declined for the eighth straight month in August as cash-strapped U.S. consumers curbed entertainment and travel spending because of an economic slowdown.

Gambling proceeds from the Strip fell 7.4 percent to USD 494 million in August, Nevada’s Gaming Control Board said today.

Casino revenue at the largest U.S. gambling center slid 6.7 percent to USD 4.21 billion this year through August as U.S. consumers struggled with higher gasoline and food prices, declining home values, job losses and the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

„Third-quarter results could prove to be challenging statewide, as September weakness could be greater than August revenue figures,“ Dennis Farrell, a debt analyst with Wachovia Capital Markets LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina, said today in a note to clients. August probably „benefited from higher international visitation and a favorable operating calendar.“

Revenue for all casinos in Nevada retreated 8.1 percent to USD 934.1 million in August from a year earlier, when the month had one less weekend. Proceeds for Clark County, which includes downtown Las Vegas as well as the Strip, fell 9.4 percent to USD 759.3 million, according to the board’s statement.

The slump prompted Boyd Gaming Corp. to delay construction of its USD 4.75 billion Echelon resort development. Moody’s Investors Services Inc. in July initiated multiple reviews of gambling companies with business on the Strip.

Boyd fell 13 percent to USD 6.15 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, Las Vegas Sands Corp. dropped 17 percent to USD 13.85, while MGM Mirage declined 8.4 percent to USD 16.26. Wynn Resorts Ltd. slid 6.6 percent to USD 56.24 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Atlantic City, the second-biggest U.S. gambling center after the Strip, will report September gambling data tomorrow.