A Time period of Adjustment
Oops! That huge hissing seem is the gaming balloon that experienced been increasing in excess of the several years, little by little getting rid of air. But, it has not been a tide that lowered all ships even so, as some emerging and growing gaming jurisdictions showed robust development in 2008.
Overall, the business and racetrack casino sectors (excluding Indian gaming), seasoned a 3.five % decrease in gaming revenues for 2008, producing a complete of $36.two billion, down some $800 million from 2007. It was the Racino sector that has tempered this drop, as they showed a gain of almost $one billion in 2008, thus bringing the Business sector market drop to $1.eight billion, or six.7 p.c. Nevada was the most significant loser in 2008, dropping virtually $1.3 billion, more than fifty percent of which stemmed from the Las Vegas Strip phase.
For the most part, on line casino operators were caught comparatively flat-footed by the extent of the 2008 revenue downturn, as it was not until finally the third and fourth quarters when it truly nosedived. Driving the crest of yr above year market expansion across the region and the availability of ample credit and equity money, new design and expansion proliferated in recent several years. These days, confronted with the realities of declining, or at ideal stagnant demand, several of these projects are now deemed more than-leveraged and/or in excess of-sized. As a consequence several gaming firms are attempting to renegotiate their credit card debt – created a lot more challenging by reduced valuations – although also paring down operational fees. The latter has grow to be a extremely problematic conundrum when working with the competition, specially in people jurisdictions that are now vying for market shares with new rising casino assignments in neighboring places. A topic we examine far more completely in the Condition by Point out examination area of this publication.
As a consequence of these situations the gaming market landscape is now strewn with impending fatalities. Amongst the a lot more notable troubled companies are Station Casinos, Empire Resorts, Harrah’s Entertainment, Greektown Holdings, Legends Gaming, Tropicana Amusement, Herbst Gaming and the checklist grows every 7 days.
“How prolonged will these economic circumstances persist, and are we at the base however?” are queries no 1 seems to be answering nevertheless. What is clear even so is that most gaming jurisdictions will have to find out how to offer with a more compact pie.
This examination contains only gaming revenues of accredited casinos and pari-mutuel retailers that offer casino game titles, and not Indian gaming functions, card rooms, or little non-casino kind slot places. The whole report, like income tables is available on our web web page.
A key factor that seems to have arisen from the ashes of this current development is that several on line casino assignments ended up just also massive to support on their own. The enter, in phrases of investment decision pounds, was not proportional to the output, in conditions of internet income after personal debt services, in comparison to previously attained final results. More and/or larger is not constantly far better. Viewing the increase in non-gaming income at the Las Vegas Strip resorts, gave impetus to the advancement of much more comprehensive amenities in numerous other jurisdictions. The flaw in this approach nevertheless is that the fees related with widening industry penetration and occasioned-use, are substantially increased than these incurred to draw in the base marketplace.
As daytripper marketplaces turn into more competitive, on line casino venues will have to depend far more and much more on their in-house hotel patrons, and measurement their houses (and anticipations) accordingly. Even though Steve Wynn started out a major trend in creating up-market mega-locations, there basically was not ample demand on the Strip to warrant the numerous other comparable projects that adopted that aimed at the same market.
The trick is to strike a satisfied medium in project configurations which of training course need considerably less of a ‘seat-of-pants’ technique, and one that is a lot more examined. A shameless plug for growth consultants like ourselves.
Other Gaming Pursuits
Though there are no printed comprehensive knowledge of American Indian gaming revenues, anecdotal evidence appears to advise that this section has been as hard strike as the Professional sector. The two Connecticut Indian gaming installations report slot income of $one.6 billion in 2008, representing a drop of about 7 %, or nearly $114 million, far more than doubling the 3.5 percent drop from the 12 months before. This market place is apparently nonetheless reeling from the ripple-effect of a casino enlargement in Rhode Island, and the opening of slot functions in New York and Pennsylvania.
The Arizona Department of Gaming studies that contributions based on a gaming income formula from the state’s 23 Indian gaming casinos, have been declining each quarter in 2008 when compared to the previous year lowering .eight % in the initial quarter, 7.5 percent in the next quarter, nine.5 % in the 3rd quarter, and 16.one p.c in the fourth quarter.
Some SEC reporting Indian gaming properties report similar decreases. Seneca Gaming, which operates 3 Course III casinos in upstate New York, reports that although calendar yr 2008 showed an practically two p.c growth rate in gaming revenues, there was an 8.7 percent drop in the third quarter and an virtually 10 per cent drop in the fourth quarter of 2008, compared with 2007. Gaming revenue traits at nearby Niagara Falls, Ontario had been down one.5% in 2008 in comparison with 2007.
It is been a mixed-bag for point out lotteries throughout the country. The North American Association of State & Provincial Lotteries reports that U.S. lotteries produced a total of $sixty.six billion in product sales in fiscal 2008, up about 3 p.c from the preceding yr nevertheless some jurisdictions reported decreases, most notably California, which confirmed an eight per cent drop. Inasmuch as some of these states are on various fiscal year ends, it would appear that the information does not replicate the affect of 3rd and/or fourth quarter benefits.
In accordance to information supplied by Equibase, horse racing pari-mutuel revenues keep on their downward spiral, falling seven per cent to $thirteen.seven billion in 2008, vs . $fourteen.7 billion in 2007.
Prepared & Proposed New Expansions
As earlier observed, it has been new gaming jurisdictions that have spawned significantly of the progress in once-a-year on line casino/racino revenues more than the many years, and their influence is apt to carry on into the near long term.
Miami Dade voters authorized a ballot situation that permits each and every of a few pari-mutuels to have a casino facility of up to 2,000 slot devices. The Flagler Dog Track and Miami Jai-Alai are reportedly planning opening in late 2009 or early 2010, although the Calder set up in Miami Gardens has but to declared its programs. There are quite a few other proposals getting deemed that would more expand on line casino advancement all through the point out.
The condition finally received about to reissuing its tenth license, late in December, 2008 awarding it to Midwest Gaming & Entertainment, LLC for a 1,two hundred+ recreation on line casino positioned in Des Plaines just east of O’Hare. The new facility is not probably to open until finally 2010. There has also been some discussion about allowing an improve in for each area gaming positions and slots at racetracks, though neither initiative seems to have any traction at this time.
The state’s expanded lottery software that makes it possible for for the improvement of 4 casino gaming zones and slots at present horse and canine tracks seems mired, as only one facility is presently underneath development, while 3 other proposals were rescinded. The only bidder on the Cherokee County contract, claimed it could not compete with the new Quapaw tribal on line casino in Oklahoma, which is situated so shut to the condition line that its parking great deal is in Kansas. The Boot Hill Casino Resort in Dodge Town is planing a December 2009 opening with 575 slots and ten table games, together with a 2nd phase because of to open up in 2011 with 875 slots and 20 table online games. The state has prolonged the software procedure for the other a few zones until finally April, 2009.
There is nevertheless a great deal of ‘jockeying’ heading on, but the prospect of as several as eight slot parlors and racinos seems to be back again on the entrance-burner, but very likely not fixed in the course of the recent legislative session.
There are about 14,000 rooms scheduled to appear on line in 2009, with the most modern currently being the 390 room M Resort in Henderson. There are expansions underway at both Caesars Palace and Challenging Rock and new lodges include two elements of the Metropolis Middle project, and the Fountainebleau.
Pinnacle Entertainment’s new on line casino improvement projects in Baton Rouge and Lake Charles, although delayed, are described to nonetheless be on-observe for opening this 12 months and/or early 2010.
There is a invoice below thing to consider that could more than double Penn National’s slot machines to three,000, as nicely as a proposal that would remove the restriction that slots be located in 5 miles of the keep track of. Scarborough Downs, which has been unsuccessful in convincing regional citizens to allow slots, might be taking into consideration relocating to a a lot more hospitable city.
A referendum was accredited in November, 2008 that allows for the improvement of 5 casinos with a whole of fifteen,000 slots, and now the bidding war is afoot despite the fact that it is not as intense as the condition had predicted.
Grand Soleil On line casino Resort in Natchez experienced been slated to open up in 2008, but has run into numerous financing concerns and whilst the lodge part is open up, the riverboat is reported to open up in the Spring of ’09. Harrah’s Margaritaville Casino in Biloxi, whilst scaled back considerably, is still on observe to open this year.
Massachusetts, a sleeping-big in conditions of marketplace likely, is nevertheless maneuvering to open up casinos/racinos, and/or a Class III Indian gaming facility, but can’t look to muster the political help. A recent examine accomplished by Dartmouth University estimates that Massachusetts resident invested much more than $920 million final calendar year at Connecticut casinos and slot device parlors in Rhode Island and Maine. The New Hampshire legislature just lately declined an choice to produce casinos, however the topic is very likely to be revisited, specially if Massachusetts decides to go ahead. There are also makes an attempt in Maine to reconsider its options.
Atlantic City’s casinos have imposed their political will on staving off the addition of slot devices at racetracks by not too long ago agreeing to keep on augmenting purses with an extra 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 allowing the tracks to have slot equipment specifically at the Meadowlands. (See w88 Squeeze segment)
Just when it appeared as if Aqueduct’s 4,500 VLT facility would ultimately be produced, the successful bidder indicated an inability to make the needed $370 million charge, citing the existing lending climate, and throwing the task back into the lap of the governor. Despite the fact that the industry demand from customers in the region could be deemed quite strong, the prospect of added competition from nearby Belmont could have an impact on Aqueduct’s underlining economic feasibility, particularly taking into consideration that marginally significantly less than 30% of the net acquire is retained by the operator.
Programs to relocate Monticello Raceway into a resort complex are becoming reconsidered perhaps owing to each the probable opening of at the very least a single or possibly two racino functions in the NY metro area, and the resurfacing of initiatives to growth a Class III Indian gaming facility in the Catskills.
Nevertheless yet another gaming proposal is being place forth in Ohio, right after previous year’s model was turned down by the voters. This program calls for one particular on line casino every in the state’s biggest cities: Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo. There would be a bare minimum expense needed of $250 million, as nicely as an initial licensing price of $50 million, and a 33 p.c tax on gaming income.
The Sands in Bethlehem is because of to open in the Spring of ’09, and the new Rivers venture in Pittsburgh is expected to be operational in August, ’09 while Philadelphia’s two slot amenities still wallow in a political mire, but are predicted to start off design this year.
The Lodge at Deadwood is slated to open in the Slide of 2009, and contain 300 video games, a hundred and forty rooms and a extensive assortment of features.
Legislators are proposing a voter referendum that would amend the condition constitution to permit on line casino gambling in designated areas, as well as allow gambling on American Indian lands in Texas and at current racetracks.
The Greenbriar, the state’s venerable vacation resort facility has submitted for individual bankruptcy, but has a new suitor in Marriott Lodges, who have reportedly tendered an offer. Condition govt has proffered the notion of permitting the vacation resort to offer you on line casino online games, but this energy is in also early a stage to have any traction one way or an additional.
A current Supreme Court ruling that restricts the using of lands into have faith in on behalf of federally recognized American Indian tribes has additional stymied some new Class III gaming assignments throughout the place. Moreover, there had been eleven Indian casino projects turned down by the DOI very last 12 months because of its new rule that casinos must be in close proximity to sufficient to a reservation that tribal associates can function at them. It has been proposed that the new Obama administration may be a lot more sympathetic to the advancement of Indian gaming initiatives, but this problem has nevertheless to be addressed.
In the meantime, there are other Course III tasks in the a variety of levels of growth. The Seneca on line casino project in Buffalo, NY, although running a tiny short-term facility, has delayed an previously underneath design long lasting facility until the industry rebounds. They have also expressed an desire in establishing a on line casino in the Catskills. The condition gaming compact with Seminoles in Florida is currently being challenged, and could impact their strategies for bigger projects. There are new Indian gaming tasks established to open up in Michigan and Oklahoma this calendar year, and others are in the organizing phase. Texas might allow the reopening of Indian gaming services and permit other venue and there are programs afoot by the Navajos in Arizona to build further casinos. California is poised to open two to 3 new Course III casinos in 2009/ten.
The Nor’easter Squeeze
Whole gaming earnings in Atlantic Town has declined seven.6 p.c, from $four.nine billion in 2007 to $4.five billion in 2008 with decreases continuing into 2009, as the town is locating itself in an extreme comp-war with the Pennsylvania venues. At one particular time the only casinos in the Northeast have been located in Atlantic Town, where it appeared as if it may possibly really even eclipse the Las Vegas Strip’s annual gaming revenues.
Little by little however its market place share was being encroached upon, 1st by the improvement of a massive Class III gaming operation in Connecticut, and then one more slots operations in Rhode Island, and then video lottery terminals at New York racetracks, racinos in West Virginia and Delaware, and most lately Pennsylvania.
Now, with the prepared opening of slot functions in Maryland, the impending opening of a new casino in Bethlehem, PA, and ultimately two functions in Philadelphia, the noose is tightening close to Atlantic City’s potential prospective customers. It’s reliance on day-trippers lulled it into a false sense of security, and it now finds itself possessing to redefine its mission assertion to “spot vacation resort.”
The only problem with this approach even so is that it is sick-equipped to pull it off. For all intents and functions, Atlantic Town is underneath-roomed and/or more than-gamed. There is just not enough day-tripper industry to go about, and their efficient buying and selling location is tightening, as the peripheral populations northward now/will have far more prepared accessibility to a widened source 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 obtain, the city’s only true aggressive benefits are its hotel capability and the availability of table game titles, even though the latter is likely to eventuate in Pennsylvania, and potentially Delaware. In get to sufficiently compete as a spot vacation resort the city wants to create additional visitor rooms and not always gaming potential. By comparison, the Las Vegas Strip qualities – accurate gaming destinations, in that they do not have considerably of a working day-excursion market place, other than for the ‘locals’ – have an regular of .87 gaming positions for each visitor space while Atlantic City’s common is two.74 positions for every visitor space.
It is not a coincidence that Atlantic City’s two premier accommodations, the Borgata and Harrah’s Marina, each of which additional new rooms in 2008, had been the least impacted by the newest downturn. The Borgata knowledgeable a gaming revenue fall of one.six p.c, although Harrah’s Marina documented a 4.nine p.c boost compared to 2007. Moreover, the toughest hit venues, particularly the AC Hilton, Resorts and the Trump Marina, also have the smallest number of rooms. In the meantime some of the venues are teetering on viability, including the the Trump houses and Resorts with the hoped for sale of the Tropicana has been even more delayed, and shedding valuation.
With a constant rise in gaming revenues through 2006, the metropolis seemed prime for even more advancement, which precipitated arranging for four new resort tasks, every single of which have now been indefinitely delayed. Revel Amusement Group’s $two.5 billion task stays an iron skeleton, Pinnacle Leisure has introduced it may possibly find to market its razed Sands site, MGM Mirage has shelved its on line casino strategies, and Penn Countrywide seems to have stopped its pursuit of the Bader Subject airport internet site.