A Time period of Adjustment
Oops! That giant hissing seem is the gaming balloon that experienced been growing more than the years, gradually losing air. But, it has not been a tide that decreased all ships nevertheless, as some rising and expanding gaming jurisdictions showed powerful development in 2008.
Total, the industrial and racetrack casino sectors (excluding Indian gaming), skilled a three.five percent decline in gaming revenues for 2008, making a total 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 virtually $one billion in 2008, therefore bringing the Commercial sector industry drop to $1.8 billion, or six.7 p.c. Nevada was the most significant loser in 2008, dropping almost $1.three billion, much more than 50 percent of which stemmed from the Las Vegas Strip section.
For the most portion, on line casino operators had been caught reasonably flat-footed by the extent of the 2008 earnings downturn, as it was not right up until the 3rd and fourth quarters when it truly nosedived. Riding the crest of calendar year above year market place development across the country and the availability of sufficient credit and fairness funds, new construction and growth proliferated in modern a long time. Nowadays, confronted with the realities of declining, or at ideal stagnant demand from customers, numerous of these projects are now considered over-leveraged and/or over-sized. As a outcome many gaming organizations are attempting to renegotiate their debt – produced a lot more challenging by reduce valuations – while also paring down operational costs. The latter has turn into a quite problematic conundrum when dealing with the competitors, particularly in individuals jurisdictions that are now vying for market place shares with new emerging casino assignments in neighboring areas. A subject matter we talk about more fully in the Condition by State analysis section of this publication.
As a outcome of these problems the gaming industry landscape is now strewn with impending fatalities. Among the more noteworthy troubled firms are Station Casinos, Empire Resorts, Harrah’s Leisure, Greektown Holdings, Legends Gaming, Tropicana Leisure, Herbst Gaming and the list grows every single 7 days.
“How lengthy will these financial conditions persist, and are we at the base nevertheless?” are queries no one seems to be answering but. What is very clear however is that most gaming jurisdictions will have to learn how to deal with a smaller pie.
This evaluation contains only gaming revenues of certified casinos and pari-mutuel stores that offer casino online games, and not Indian gaming operations, card rooms, or modest non-on line casino kind slot areas. The total article, which includes income tables is accessible on our world wide web website page.
A essential element that would seem to have arisen from the ashes of this present trend is that several on line casino assignments ended up just too massive to assistance them selves. The enter, in terms of expenditure pounds, was not proportional to the output, in conditions of web revenue following financial debt support, when compared to previously attained results. More and/or even bigger is not usually better. Seeing the increase in non-gaming income at the Las Vegas Strip resorts, gave impetus to the improvement of more thorough features in numerous other jurisdictions. The flaw in this method nevertheless is that the fees connected with widening market place penetration and occasioned-use, are drastically increased than individuals incurred to entice the foundation marketplace.
As daytripper marketplaces become much more aggressive, on line casino venues will have to count a lot more and a lot more on their in-home lodge patrons, and measurement their houses (and anticipations) accordingly. Whilst Steve Wynn started a main craze in generating up-market mega-places, there just was not adequate demand on the Strip to warrant the many other equivalent assignments that followed that aimed at the very same specialized niche.
The trick is to strike a pleased medium in task configurations which of system need much less of a ‘seat-of-pants’ strategy, and one particular that is far more analyzed. A shameless plug for development consultants like ourselves.
Other Gaming Pursuits
Although there are no printed in depth info of American Indian gaming revenues, anecdotal evidence appears to propose that this phase has been as challenging strike as the Commercial sector. The two Connecticut Indian gaming installations report slot revenue of $1.six billion in 2008, representing a fall of about seven per cent, or virtually $114 million, much more than doubling the 3.5 p.c drop from the year just before. This market place is seemingly nevertheless reeling from the ripple-impact of a on line casino growth in Rhode Island, and the opening of slot operations in New York and Pennsylvania.
The Arizona Section of Gaming reports that contributions primarily based on a gaming earnings method from the state’s 23 Indian gaming casinos, have been declining every single quarter in 2008 in contrast to the preceding year reducing .8 per cent in the initial quarter, seven.five p.c in the 2nd quarter, 9.5 p.c in the third quarter, and sixteen.1 percent in the fourth quarter.
Some SEC reporting Indian gaming homes report equivalent decreases. Seneca Gaming, which operates a few Course III casinos in upstate New York, reports that while calendar year 2008 showed an virtually two % growth rate in gaming revenues, there was an 8.seven per cent decline in the third quarter and an almost ten percent decline in the fourth quarter of 2008, in contrast with 2007. Gaming revenue traits at nearby Niagara Falls, Ontario ended up down one.5% in 2008 compared with 2007.
It really is been a blended-bag for point out lotteries throughout the region. The North American Association of State & Provincial Lotteries studies that U.S. lotteries generated a complete of $sixty.6 billion in revenue in fiscal 2008, up about three p.c from the prior 12 months however some jurisdictions documented decreases, most notably California, which showed an eight p.c drop. Inasmuch as some of these states are on numerous fiscal yr ends, it would appear that the info does not reflect the impact of third and/or fourth quarter results.
In accordance to info offered by Equibase, horse racing pari-mutuel revenues carry on their downward spiral, slipping seven % to $thirteen.seven billion in 2008, versus $fourteen.7 billion in 2007.
Planned & Proposed New Expansions
As formerly noted, it has been new gaming jurisdictions that have spawned a lot of the growth in yearly on line casino/racino revenues over the several years, and their affect is apt to keep on into the in close proximity to foreseeable future.
Miami Dade voters accepted a ballot concern that makes it possible for each of three pari-mutuels to have a on line casino facility of up to two,000 slot machines. The Flagler Dog Observe and Miami Jai-Alai are reportedly organizing opening in late 2009 or early 2010, although the Calder installation in Miami Gardens has nevertheless to introduced its plans. There are several other proposals being considered that would additional expand on line casino development during the point out.
The point out last but not least obtained around to reissuing its tenth license, late in December, 2008 awarding it to Midwest Gaming & Leisure, LLC for a 1,200+ sport casino situated in Des Plaines just east of O’Hare. The new facility is not probably to open until 2010. There has also been some discussion about making it possible for 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 software that makes it possible for for the advancement of 4 casino gaming zones and slots at current horse and pet tracks seems mired, as only 1 facility is presently underneath design, although 3 other proposals have been rescinded. The only bidder on the Cherokee County deal, claimed it could not contend with the new Quapaw tribal on line casino in Oklahoma, which is located so shut to the point out line that its parking great deal is in Kansas. The Boot Hill On line casino Vacation resort in Dodge Town is planing a December 2009 opening with 575 slots and 10 table video games, along with a next phase due to open in 2011 with 875 slots and twenty table video games. The state has prolonged the software procedure for the other three zones until finally April, 2009.
There is nonetheless a whole lot of ‘jockeying’ likely on, but the prospect of as many as 8 slot parlors and racinos appears to be again on the front-burner, but most likely not fixed during the existing legislative session.
There are about 14,000 rooms scheduled to come on line in 2009, with the most current getting the 390 place M Resort in Henderson. There are expansions underway at both Caesars Palace and Tough Rock and new resorts contain two parts of the City Heart task, and the Fountainebleau.
Pinnacle Entertainment’s new on line casino growth tasks in Baton Rouge and Lake Charles, although delayed, are documented to even now be on-monitor for opening this yr and/or early 2010.
There is a invoice below consideration that could more than double Penn National’s slot machines to three,000, as properly as a proposal that would remove the restriction that slots be positioned inside five miles of the track. Scarborough Downs, which has been unsuccessful in convincing local inhabitants to allow slots, may possibly be considering relocating to a much more hospitable city.
A referendum was accredited in November, 2008 that allows for the development of five casinos with a complete of fifteen,000 slots, and now the bidding war is afoot although it is not as intense as the condition experienced predicted.
Grand Soleil Casino Resort in Natchez experienced been slated to open up in 2008, but has operate into different financing concerns and whilst the lodge part is open, the riverboat is reported to open up in the Spring of ’09. Harrah’s Margaritaville Casino in Biloxi, while scaled again fairly, is even now on keep track of to open this yr.
Massachusetts, a sleeping-large in conditions of industry potential, is even now maneuvering to open up casinos/racinos, and/or a Course III Indian gaming facility, but cannot seem to be to muster the political help. A latest examine completed by Dartmouth College estimates that Massachusetts resident put in far more than $920 million very last 12 months at Connecticut casinos and slot equipment parlors in Rhode Island and Maine. The New Hampshire legislature lately declined an selection to build casinos, even so the topic is most likely to be revisited, specifically if Massachusetts decides to go ahead. There are also makes an attempt in Maine to rethink its alternatives.
Atlantic City’s casinos have imposed their political will on staving off the addition of slot equipment at racetracks by recently agreeing to proceed augmenting purses with an added tax. The governor nevertheless, has appointed a new panel to examine the state’s sagging racing program which ironically, can only be preserved by enabling the tracks to have slot machines particularly at the Meadowlands. (See The Nor’easter Squeeze part)
Just when it seemed as if Aqueduct’s four,500 VLT facility would lastly be produced, the successful bidder indicated an inability to make the required $370 million price, citing the present lending local climate, and throwing the task back into the lap of the governor. Although the marketplace demand from customers in the location could be deemed fairly robust, the prospect of further competition from close by Belmont could have an influence on Aqueduct’s underlining financial feasibility, specifically considering that somewhat considerably less than 30% of the web acquire is retained by the operator.
Ideas to relocate Monticello Raceway into a vacation resort sophisticated are being reconsidered perhaps owing to both the probable opening of at the very least one or maybe two racino functions in the NY metro location, and the resurfacing of initiatives to improvement a Course III Indian gaming facility in the Catskills.
But an additional gaming proposal is getting place forth in Ohio, following last year’s model was turned down by the voters. This plan calls for one casino each and every in the state’s greatest towns: Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo. There would be a minimum investment essential of $250 million, as effectively as an original licensing fee of $50 million, and a 33 percent tax on gaming income.
The Sands in Bethlehem is owing to open in the Spring of ’09, and the new Rivers project in Pittsburgh is expected to be operational in August, ’09 although Philadelphia’s two slot amenities nevertheless wallow in a political mire, but are predicted to begin building this yr.
The Lodge at Deadwood is slated to open in the Slide of 2009, and include three hundred games, one hundred forty rooms and a wide variety of facilities.
Legislators are proposing a voter referendum that would amend the condition structure to let casino gambling in selected locations, as effectively as allow gambling on American Indian lands in Texas and at existing racetracks.
The Greenbriar, the state’s venerable resort facility has submitted for bankruptcy, but has a new suitor in Marriott Hotels, who have reportedly tendered an offer you. State federal government has proffered the idea of allowing the vacation resort to offer casino game titles, but this energy is in also early a phase to have any traction one particular way or one more.
A latest Supreme Courtroom ruling that restricts the having of lands into have confidence in on behalf of federally regarded American Indian tribes has even more stymied some new Class III gaming projects across the place. Additionally, there have been eleven Indian on line casino initiatives rejected by the DOI last 12 months simply because of its new rule that casinos must be around ample to a reservation that tribal users can perform at them. It has been advised that the new Obama administration may well be much more sympathetic to the advancement of Indian gaming tasks, but this concern has however to be addressed.
Meanwhile, there are other Class III assignments in the a variety of levels of advancement. The Seneca on line casino project in Buffalo, NY, while working a little short term facility, has delayed an already underneath building permanent facility right up until the industry rebounds. They have also expressed an curiosity in creating a on line casino in the Catskills. The point out gaming compact with Seminoles in Florida is currently being challenged, and could effect their ideas for larger initiatives. There are milkcasino.com gaming tasks set to open in Michigan and Oklahoma this year, and other folks are in the planning stage. Texas could let the reopening of Indian gaming services and enable other location and there are ideas afoot by the Navajos in Arizona to construct added casinos. California is poised to open up two to a few new Course III casinos in 2009/10.
The Nor’easter Squeeze
Total gaming income in Atlantic City has declined seven.six %, from $four.nine billion in 2007 to $four.five billion in 2008 with decreases continuing into 2009, as the town is finding by itself in an intense comp-war with the Pennsylvania venues. At a single time the only casinos in the Northeast ended up found in Atlantic City, in which it seemed as if it may truly even eclipse the Las Vegas Strip’s once-a-year gaming revenues.
Slowly and gradually nevertheless its industry share was being encroached on, initial by the improvement of a large Class III gaming operation in Connecticut, and then one more slots functions in Rhode Island, and then video clip lottery terminals at New York racetracks, racinos in West Virginia and Delaware, and most recently Pennsylvania.
Now, with the prepared opening of slot functions in Maryland, the impending opening of a new on line casino in Bethlehem, PA, and at some point two operations in Philadelphia, the noose is tightening close to Atlantic City’s potential prospects. It is reliance on working day-trippers lulled it into a untrue sense of stability, and it now finds alone getting to redefine its mission statement to “destination resort.”
The only problem with this strategy nevertheless is that it is unwell-equipped to pull it off. For all intents and functions, Atlantic Metropolis is below-roomed and/or more than-gamed. There is basically not ample day-tripper industry to go close to, and their efficient trading area is tightening, as the peripheral populations northward now/will have much more prepared obtain to a widened source in New York (Yonkers, and shortly at Aqueduct and possibly Belmont), westward in Pennsylvania and southward in Delaware, West Virginia and Maryland.
Other than the ocean accessibility, the city’s only real aggressive positive aspects are its resort capability and the availability of desk online games, even though the latter is likely to eventuate in Pennsylvania, and perhaps Delaware. In buy to adequately contend as a location resort the metropolis demands to build further guest rooms and not automatically gaming capability. By comparison, the Las Vegas Strip properties – true gaming destinations, in that they do not have significantly of a working day-journey industry, besides for the ‘locals’ – have an typical of .87 gaming positions for each guest place while Atlantic City’s typical is 2.seventy four positions for each visitor area.
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, were the minimum impacted by the most current downturn. The Borgata knowledgeable a gaming revenue drop of 1.six per cent, although Harrah’s Marina reported a 4.nine per cent improve when compared to 2007. Moreover, the hardest strike venues, specifically 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, like the the Trump homes and Resorts with the hoped for sale of the Tropicana has been additional delayed, and getting rid of valuation.
With a continual increase in gaming revenues through 2006, the metropolis seemed primary for further development, which precipitated organizing for 4 new vacation resort assignments, every single of which have now been indefinitely delayed. Revel Enjoyment Group’s $two.five billion venture stays an iron skeleton, Pinnacle Leisure has declared it may possibly find to market its razed Sands internet site, MGM Mirage has shelved its casino plans, and Penn Countrywide seems to have stopped its pursuit of the Bader Field airport site.