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