A Period of time of Adjustment
Oops! That huge hissing seem is the gaming balloon that experienced been increasing more than the many years, slowly and gradually losing air. But, it has not been a tide that decreased all ships even so, as some emerging and expanding gaming jurisdictions showed robust development in 2008.
Overall, the industrial and racetrack casino sectors (excluding Indian gaming), seasoned a 3.5 p.c decrease in gaming revenues for 2008, making a overall of $36.two billion, down some $800 million from 2007. It was the Racino sector that has tempered this drop, as they showed a acquire of practically $1 billion in 2008, therefore bringing the Industrial sector marketplace decline to $one.8 billion, or 6.7 p.c. Nevada was the greatest loser in 2008, dropping almost $one.3 billion, more than 50 % of which stemmed from the Las Vegas Strip segment.
For the most component, on line casino operators were caught relatively flat-footed by the extent of the 2008 earnings downturn, as it was not until the third and fourth quarters when it really nosedived. Riding the crest of yr over yr market place development across the place and the availability of sufficient credit rating and equity cash, new design and enlargement proliferated in modern a long time. Nowadays, confronted with the realities of declining, or at best stagnant need, numerous of these projects are now deemed in excess of-leveraged and/or above-sized. As a result several gaming businesses are attempting to renegotiate their credit card debt – made a lot more tough by reduce valuations – although also paring down operational costs. The latter has turn out to be a very problematic conundrum when working with the opposition, especially in these jurisdictions that are now vying for market shares with new emerging on line casino initiatives in neighboring regions. A matter we talk about much more entirely in the Point out by Point out analysis area of this publication.
As a end result of these situations the gaming business landscape is now strewn with impending fatalities. Among the far more notable troubled corporations are Station Casinos, Empire Resorts, Harrah’s Entertainment, Greektown Holdings, Legends Gaming, Tropicana Leisure, Herbst Gaming and the record grows each and every week.
“How long will these financial situations persist, and are we at the bottom but?” are questions no a single appears to be answering nevertheless. What is obvious nonetheless is that most gaming jurisdictions will have to understand how to deal with a smaller pie.
This investigation contains only gaming revenues of certified casinos and pari-mutuel outlets that provide casino online games, and not Indian gaming functions, card rooms, or modest non-on line casino variety slot areas. The total write-up, such as earnings tables is offered on our world wide web page.
A key element that looks to have arisen from the ashes of this recent pattern is that numerous on line casino assignments have been just way too large to assistance them selves. The input, in conditions of investment dollars, was not proportional to the output, in conditions of web earnings following credit card debt services, in contrast to earlier attained benefits. Far more and/or even bigger is not always much better. Looking at tasterschoice.co.kr in non-gaming revenue at the Las Vegas Strip resorts, gave impetus to the improvement of far more extensive amenities in numerous other jurisdictions. The flaw in this technique nonetheless is that the expenses connected with widening market place penetration and occasioned-use, are considerably increased than individuals incurred to draw in the base market place.
As daytripper markets grow to be far more aggressive, casino venues will have to rely a lot more and more on their in-house lodge patrons, and size their qualities (and anticipations) appropriately. While Steve Wynn started a major craze in generating up-market place mega-destinations, there simply was not ample demand on the Strip to warrant the numerous other comparable initiatives that adopted that aimed at the identical area of interest.
The trick is to strike a happy medium in venture configurations which of course require much less of a ‘seat-of-pants’ approach, and one particular that is a lot more studied. A shameless plug for advancement consultants like ourselves.
Other Gaming Activities
Despite the fact that there are no published in depth data of American Indian gaming revenues, anecdotal proof seems to advise that this phase has been as tough hit as the Business sector. The two Connecticut Indian gaming installations report slot earnings of $one.six billion in 2008, representing a fall of about seven percent, or nearly $114 million, more than doubling the 3.five per cent fall from the yr just before. This market place is evidently still reeling from the ripple-influence of a on line casino expansion in Rhode Island, and the opening of slot functions in New York and Pennsylvania.
The Arizona Section of Gaming reports that contributions based on a gaming profits formulation from the state’s 23 Indian gaming casinos, have been declining every single quarter in 2008 in contrast to the prior calendar year decreasing .eight per cent in the initial quarter, 7.five % in the second quarter, 9.5 per cent in the third quarter, and 16.1 % in the fourth quarter.
Some SEC reporting Indian gaming qualities report related decreases. Seneca Gaming, which operates three Course III casinos in upstate New York, reviews that while calendar year 2008 confirmed an practically 2 per cent progress price in gaming revenues, there was an 8.7 percent drop in the 3rd quarter and an nearly ten p.c decrease in the fourth quarter of 2008, when compared with 2007. Gaming earnings trends at close by Niagara Falls, Ontario had been down 1.five% in 2008 in contrast with 2007.
It’s been a mixed-bag for condition lotteries across the place. The North American Affiliation of Condition & Provincial Lotteries reviews that U.S. lotteries generated a overall of $60.six billion in revenue in fiscal 2008, up about three percent from the previous yr yet some jurisdictions reported decreases, most notably California, which confirmed an 8 percent drop. Inasmuch as some of these states are on a variety of fiscal year finishes, it would look that the knowledge does not mirror the affect of 3rd and/or fourth quarter outcomes.
In accordance to data presented by Equibase, horse racing pari-mutuel revenues proceed their downward spiral, slipping 7 % to $13.seven billion in 2008, versus $14.seven billion in 2007.
Prepared & Proposed New Expansions
As previously mentioned, it has been new gaming jurisdictions that have spawned considerably of the development in once-a-year on line casino/racino revenues more than the years, and their affect is apt to keep on into the close to future.
Miami Dade voters accepted a ballot problem that allows each and every of 3 pari-mutuels to have a on line casino facility of up to 2,000 slot equipment. The Flagler Dog Observe and Miami Jai-Alai are reportedly planning opening in late 2009 or early 2010, whilst the Calder set up in Miami Gardens has yet to announced its strategies. There are many other proposals getting regarded as that would further broaden on line casino improvement throughout the point out.
The point out finally obtained close to to reissuing its tenth license, late in December, 2008 awarding it to Midwest Gaming & Leisure, LLC for a one,two hundred+ sport casino positioned in Des Plaines just east of O’Hare. The new facility is not probably to open up until finally 2010. There has also been some discussion about permitting an increase in for every area gaming positions and slots at racetracks, despite the fact that neither initiative seems to have any traction at this time.
The state’s expanded lottery plan that enables for the growth of 4 on line casino gaming zones and slots at current horse and dog tracks seems mired, as only 1 facility is presently underneath development, while three other proposals had been rescinded. The only bidder on the Cherokee County contract, claimed it could not contend with the new Quapaw tribal on line casino in Oklahoma, which is located so near to the condition line that its parking lot is in Kansas. The Boot Hill On line casino Resort in Dodge Metropolis is planing a December 2009 opening with 575 slots and ten table video games, along with a 2nd section because of to open in 2011 with 875 slots and 20 table games. The state has prolonged the software procedure for the other three zones right up until April, 2009.
There is still a good deal of ‘jockeying’ going on, but the prospect of as a lot of as eight slot parlors and racinos appears to be back on the entrance-burner, but very likely not solved in the course of the existing legislative session.
There are about 14,000 rooms scheduled to come on line in 2009, with the most recent becoming the 390 room M Vacation resort in Henderson. There are expansions underway at the two Caesars Palace and Hard Rock and new accommodations contain two elements of the Metropolis Middle project, and the Fountainebleau.
Pinnacle Entertainment’s new on line casino growth assignments in Baton Rouge and Lake Charles, while delayed, are described to still be on-monitor for opening this year and/or early 2010.
There is a invoice beneath consideration that could far more than double Penn National’s slot equipment to 3,000, as properly as a proposal that would get rid of the restriction that slots be positioned in five miles of the keep track of. Scarborough Downs, which has been unsuccessful in convincing local citizens to allow slots, may possibly be taking into consideration transferring to a more hospitable city.
A referendum was accepted in November, 2008 that permits for the advancement of 5 casinos with a complete of fifteen,000 slots, and now the bidding war is afoot although it is not as intensive as the point out had predicted.
Grand Soleil On line casino Vacation resort in Natchez experienced been slated to open up in 2008, but has operate into various funding problems and while the resort portion is open, the riverboat is documented to open in the Spring of ’09. Harrah’s Margaritaville On line casino in Biloxi, while scaled again relatively, is still on observe to open up this year.
Massachusetts, a sleeping-giant in conditions of marketplace possible, is nonetheless maneuvering to open casinos/racinos, and/or a Course III Indian gaming facility, but are not able to seem to be to muster the political support. A modern examine finished by Dartmouth University estimates that Massachusetts resident invested more than $920 million previous year at Connecticut casinos and slot device parlors in Rhode Island and Maine. The New Hampshire legislature recently declined an selection to produce casinos, nonetheless the topic is very likely to be revisited, specifically if Massachusetts decides to go forward. There are also makes an attempt in Maine to rethink its choices.
Atlantic City’s casinos have imposed their political will on staving off the addition of slot devices at racetracks by just lately agreeing to proceed augmenting purses with an added tax. The governor even so, has appointed a new panel to examine the state’s sagging racing plan which ironically, can only be preserved by enabling the tracks to have slot devices particularly at the Meadowlands. (See The Nor’easter Squeeze area)
Just when it appeared as if Aqueduct’s four,five hundred VLT facility would lastly be produced, the profitable bidder indicated an inability to make the necessary $370 million charge, citing the current lending local weather, and throwing the project back into the lap of the governor. Although the marketplace demand in the spot could be regarded as very strong, the prospect of extra competitiveness from close by Belmont could have an effect on Aqueduct’s underlining economic feasibility, particularly considering that marginally considerably less than 30% of the net get is retained by the operator.
Ideas to relocate Monticello Raceway into a resort complex are getting reconsidered probably owing to both the possible opening of at minimum 1 or perhaps two racino functions in the NY metro location, and the resurfacing of initiatives to advancement a Class III Indian gaming facility in the Catskills.
But yet another gaming proposal is becoming set forth in Ohio, following very last year’s variation was turned down by the voters. This strategy phone calls for a single on line casino every single in the state’s greatest cities: Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo. There would be a least investment decision required of $250 million, as well as an original licensing charge of $fifty million, and a 33 percent tax on gaming earnings.
The Sands in Bethlehem is because of to open up in the Spring of ’09, and the new Rivers project in Pittsburgh is predicted to be operational in August, ’09 whilst Philadelphia’s two slot facilities nevertheless wallow in a political mire, but are predicted to begin construction this yr.
The Lodge at Deadwood is slated to open in the Slide of 2009, and incorporate three hundred video games, one hundred forty rooms and a vast assortment of facilities.
Legislators are proposing a voter referendum that would amend the point out structure to permit casino gambling in designated areas, as nicely as enable gambling on American Indian lands in Texas and at existing racetracks.
The Greenbriar, the state’s venerable resort facility has filed for bankruptcy, but has a new suitor in Marriott Lodges, who have reportedly tendered an offer you. Condition federal government has proffered the notion of making it possible for the resort to supply on line casino online games, but this work is in too early a stage to have any traction a single way or another.
A modern Supreme Courtroom ruling that restricts the taking of lands into have faith in on behalf of federally regarded American Indian tribes has more stymied some new Class III gaming initiatives throughout the place. Additionally, there were eleven Indian on line casino assignments turned down by the DOI final yr simply because of its new rule that casinos should be close to sufficient to a reservation that tribal associates can perform at them. It has been proposed that the new Obama administration might be more sympathetic to the advancement of Indian gaming initiatives, but this issue has yet to be dealt with.
Meanwhile, there are other Class III projects in the different phases of advancement. The Seneca casino task in Buffalo, NY, although functioning a little momentary facility, has delayed an already underneath development everlasting facility till the market rebounds. They have also expressed an curiosity in developing a casino in the Catskills. The point out gaming compact with Seminoles in Florida is becoming challenged, and could influence their programs for more substantial initiatives. There are new Indian gaming projects set to open up in Michigan and Oklahoma this year, and other people are in the organizing phase. Texas could allow the reopening of Indian gaming facilities and let other venue and there are ideas afoot by the Navajos in Arizona to assemble further casinos. California is poised to open two to 3 new Course III casinos in 2009/ten.
The Nor’easter Squeeze
Whole gaming profits in Atlantic Metropolis has declined seven.six percent, from $4.9 billion in 2007 to $4.5 billion in 2008 with decreases continuing into 2009, as the town is locating by itself in an intensive comp-war with the Pennsylvania venues. At 1 time the only casinos in the Northeast had been positioned in Atlantic Metropolis, the place it looked as if it might in fact even eclipse the Las Vegas Strip’s yearly gaming revenues.
Little by little however its industry share was currently being encroached on, very first by the development of a big Class III gaming operation in Connecticut, and then yet another slots functions in Rhode Island, and then video lottery terminals at New York racetracks, racinos in West Virginia and Delaware, and most recently Pennsylvania.
Now, with the planned opening of slot functions in Maryland, the impending opening of a new casino in Bethlehem, PA, and at some point two functions in Philadelphia, the noose is tightening about Atlantic City’s foreseeable future prospects. It really is reliance on working day-trippers lulled it into a untrue perception of protection, and it now finds itself possessing to redefine its mission assertion to “location vacation resort.”
The only difficulty with this approach however is that it is ill-geared up to pull it off. For all intents and purposes, Atlantic City is below-roomed and/or in excess of-gamed. There is simply not enough day-tripper marketplace to go all around, and their efficient trading location is tightening, as the peripheral populations northward now/will have more completely ready access to a widened offer in New York (Yonkers, and before long at Aqueduct and perhaps Belmont), westward in Pennsylvania and southward in Delaware, West Virginia and Maryland.
Other than the ocean access, the city’s only genuine competitive rewards are its hotel capability and the availability of desk game titles, even though the latter is very likely to eventuate in Pennsylvania, and possibly Delaware. In purchase to adequately contend as a vacation spot resort the metropolis needs to develop additional guest rooms and not always gaming potential. By comparison, the Las Vegas Strip qualities – correct gaming locations, in that they do not have significantly of a working day-trip marketplace, apart from for the ‘locals’ – have an regular of .87 gaming positions for every guest place although Atlantic City’s average is 2.74 positions for every guest room.
It is not a coincidence that Atlantic City’s two premier hotels, the Borgata and Harrah’s Marina, equally of which extra new rooms in 2008, had been the minimum impacted by the newest downturn. The Borgata experienced a gaming profits drop of one.6 percent, although Harrah’s Marina noted a four.nine % enhance in comparison to 2007. In addition, the hardest hit venues, namely the AC Hilton, Resorts and the Trump Marina, also have the smallest amount of rooms. In the meantime some of the venues are teetering on viability, which includes the the Trump homes and Resorts with the hoped for sale of the Tropicana has been further delayed, and getting rid of valuation.
With a regular rise in gaming revenues through 2006, the town appeared key for additional growth, which precipitated arranging for four new resort assignments, each and every of which have now been indefinitely delayed. Revel Enjoyment Group’s $2.5 billion venture stays an iron skeleton, Pinnacle Entertainment has announced it might find to market its razed Sands site, MGM Mirage has shelved its casino strategies, and Penn Nationwide appears to have stopped its pursuit of the Bader Discipline airport site.