Steve Wynn told CNBC on the eve of the opening of his new Encore at Wynn Macau that he may move the company headquarters to the Chinese gaming hot spot. Wynn sounds like he has soured on Las Vegas and on the business climate in the United States.
“I don’t think the Las Vegas market at the moment beckons a large investment,” Wynn said. “The economic outlook in the United States, the policies of this administration, which do not favor job formation, do not encourage investment at all.”
In an interview a couple months ago, Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson described Sands as “an Asian or foreign company doing business in the United States.”
Wynn and Adelson are not exactly pals. But their respective views of the U.S. and the world business climate seem to be aligned. Some may point to Nevada’s February gaming revenue increase of 13.9% from February ’09 as an indicator that Sin City is turning the corner. But UNLV’s David Schwartz has crunched the numbers and two things can explain the big percentage pop: the calender and baccarat.
In 2009, the Chinese New Year fell in January, this year it landed in February. Plus the entire increase in action came from baccarat a game played by high rollers that is notorious for swinging the earnings of individual gaming companies depending upon of how lucky gamblers are. As Schwartz points out, “part of the reason for baccarat’s incredible month was that gamblers were unlucky — games held more than 17 percent, by far the highest February hold in four years.”
Meanwhile, slot machines, the steady bread-and-butter of the gaming business “won about $40 million less in February 2010 than in February 2009,” according to Schwartz.