Investors punish gaming stocks after win report

Investor jitters over the Las Vegas gambling industry’s prospects in 2001 continued after the state Gaming Control Board reported Wednesday that Nevada’s gaming win fell 3.2 percent in November, its second decline in three months. Gaming investors reacted by continuing their sell-off of the city’s largest casino operators. On Wednesday, Mandalay Resort Group dropped 94 cents to $20, Park Place Entertainment Corp. fell 44 cents to $10.06, Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. retreated 81 cents to $23.88 and MGM MIRAGE lost 38 cents to close at $28.56. But to gaming analysts, who have largely turned bearish on gaming’s prospects in 2001, the numbers were met with a shrug. They’re not interested in what happened in November 2000 — rather, they’re interested in where Las Vegas is going in the first months of 2001. “Its effect on the stock prices is more psychological than anything,” said Daniel Davila, gaming analyst with Hibernia Southcoast Capital. “I would caution people from putting a whole lot of importance on what happened in November. What happened two months ago has already been factored into the price of the stock.” Declines aren’t surprising, Davila said, because Las Vegas room rates had reached record highs, and the city’s gaming

Kyl growing pessimistic about banning Internet gambling

In a sharp reversal, several of Las Vegas’ most powerful casino operators no longer want to ban Internet gambling, and some are starting websites and exploring technology that could eventually offer wagering in homes, offices or anywhere there is a computer wired into cyberspace. The policy change is reverberating through Nevada and Washington, where some casino companies are gearing up to oppose legislation they once embraced that would explicitly ban Internet gambling and force Internet companies to block access to illegal sites. The $40 billion casino industry is not unanimous on the issue. But those who oppose a ban on Internet gambling say they now believe such a ban is not technologically feasible and therefore they should be allowed to compete with the 1,400 sites, operated from overseas, that already offer gambling. Some politicians and industry analysts have a more skeptical view of the casinos’ motives, asserting that the casinos are seeking to control a lucrative field that they have realized they cannot legislate out of existence. These critics expect the casinos eventually to seek regulation that could give them the only legitimate licenses, enabling them to co-opt, if not monopolize, the industry. In the last Congress, legislation intended to