Nevada Gambling Revenues Down -11% (MGM, LVS, WYNN, CZR)

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In its latest report on gambling revenues in the state, the Nevada Gaming Commission said that total revenue for March 2012 came in at $854.6 million, down -10.86% compared with March 2011. For the first nine months of the fiscal year, state-wide revenues are up 2.16%. The Las Vegas Strip accounted for more than half of the state’s revenue, with a March total of $448.7 million, down -14.9% from March 2011. Revenues from The Strip are up 3% this year.

Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NASDAQ: WYNN) posted -20% lower revenues for its first quarter of 2012 compared with revenues in the same period in 2011. Both Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS) and MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) managed to stay about even with last year’s take in the first quarter. Most of the increase was due to higher room rates and a slightly higher number of visitors and conventions. Recently public Ceasars Entertainment Corp. (NASDAQ: CZR) posted an EPS loss of -$2.24.

EPS estimates for Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts are moving higher, while estimates for MGM and Ceasars are falling. The prospects for significant short-term growth are not strong, and in the state with the highest unemployment rate in the country and the second-highest number of mortgage delinquencies, state government may not get any relief from low fee collections on gambling for a while yet.

In March, the state collected about $71.5 million in fees from its gambling businesses, down -10.3% from March of 2011. February’s collections were 69.3% higher than a year ago, however, probably due to convention business. Collections in the current fiscal year are up 2.26%, mostly due to a huge bump in July of 2011.

Paul Ausick