Does Las Vegas Have a Full House?

According to a recently released statement by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Las Vegas Strip gambling revenue jumped 29 percent to $623.5 million in January. Total revenue for Clark County, including the Strip, downtown and North Las Vegas, increased almost 22 percent to $925.5 million.

Bloomberg reports, “A surge in baccarat linked to the Chinese New Year drove the gain, according to Mark Lipparelli, board chairman.  January also benefited from the Consumer Electronics Show, the Shooting, Hunting & Outdoor Trade show and better-than-expected attendance at the World of Concrete convention, Union Gaming Group LLC said in a note.  The Chinese New Year fell on Jan. 23 this year.”  Statewide, gambling revenue increased 18 percent to $1.04 billion in January, the highest monthly total since September 2008.

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Casino stocks such as Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) and MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) both increased more than 2 percent on the positive news.  Las Vegas Sands has been one of the best performing stocks over the past three years, surging more than 2,300 percent.  In the same period, MGM shares have gained 290 percent.  Last month, Citigroup (NYSE:C) raised its price target on MGM shares from $11 to $15.

Shares of Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) gained nearly 1 percent, as the company continues its legal battle with Kazuo Okada, former largest shareholder.  Reuters reports, “A Nevada state judge ordered Wynn Resorts to turn over only two pages of the many pages of documents that Okada’s team had requested for a lawsuit related to a $135 million contribution by the Las Vegas casino to the University of Macau.”  Okada’s team had requested hundreds of papers be turned over, but Judge Elizabeth called the request “overboard.”

Although many casino stocks climbed higher on Thursday, Caesars Entertainment Corp. (CZR) shares declined 1.5 percent.  Last week, the company reported a fourth quarter loss of $220.6 million, compared to a loss of $196.7 million a year earlier.  Caesar recently went public and is currently lobbying for a new law in Congress that would allow it to operate online poker websites in the United States.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Eric McWhinnie at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com