Published On: Tue, Oct 29th, 2013

Steve Wynn Hits The Tables In Las Vegas And The News

Casino entrepreneur Steve Wynn rarely stays out of the news for long, and this week he seems to be popping up all over the place with some PR help for his friends.

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Rolling Dice At The Downtown Grand

First he showed up on Sunday at the opening of the new Downtown Grand Hotel and Casino, owned by the CIM Group but managed and operated by Wynn’s good friend Seth Schorr, and rolled dice on the tables there with his wife Andrea.

Being there took the billionaire back in time a bit to his own roots, and he spoke about the rejuvenation of downtown Vegas from his own unique perspective of having been in the gambling business now for 47 years.

“The notion that Las Vegas can have a hip, affordable spot to go to, where the food is good, where the action is fun – we’re getting back to our roots, ” Wynn said. “Fremont Street was always the place of lots of excitement. It was available to people of any income strata.”

“As time has gone by, places have gotten more expensive and elaborate” he said – which of course Wynn himself has been instrumental in bringing about with the development of the Vegas strip and its mega casinos.

Chipping In To Help Caesars Entertainment

While he was there Wynn also did a bit of friendly PR for another one of his competitors, commenting on recent regulatory woes Caesars Entertainment has been having with gaming regulators in Massachusetts. There, the Apollo Global Management controlled, Caesars recently withdrew from a partnership with an overseas group to operate a casino, Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and Saloon, over its alleged potential links to Russian organized crime.

Wynn commented: “It’s clear in America today the government is sort of after everybody”… “And whatever problems Caesars is having it really amounts to nothing when the story is told.”

Wynn made these comments during his visit to the Downtown Grand. “I was surprised, ” said Wynn. “In a way it was very unexpected.” He called Gary Loveman and other top Caesars executives “really fine people.”

Wynn then added, “I don’t know about money laundering or any of that. Those facts are not available to us. I felt sorry for them that they were going through that. I’m sure it was very uncomfortable for (them) to be in that position.”

“It is what it is. We live in a regulated business. I’ve been at it for 47 years. I’m not sure it’s fair but in gaming we’re treated differently. In gaming you’re guilty until you’re proven innocent and in everything else, just the opposite.”

News About Wynn Resorts and Wynn Macau

Finally Steve Wynn turned everyone’s attention to the progress his company is making in Macau. During the conference call for Wynn’s September earnings announcements he stated that the first phase of the new US$4 billion Cotai resort Wynn Palace “will definitely be ready by Chinese New Year in 2016.” He also indicated they were looking carefully already at plans for phase two of the resort, to be known as Wynn Diamond.

Given current new table growth restrictions set in place by the Macau government Steve Wynn also indicated it seemed that…“in our phase two we have a property that is going to be primarily massive non-casino, but with some casino development”.

Wynn Macau is a publicly listed 72.3% owned subsidiary of Wynn Resorts. Last week Wynn Macau posted a 13% increase in its earnings as an improving Chinese economy boosted spending.

Wynn Macau’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, rose to US$329.1 million from US$292.2 million a year earlier, according to the company. Net revenue climbed 9.6 percent to US$997.6 million.

China’s economic growth accelerated for the first time in three quarters with gross domestic product rising 7.8 percent in the July-September period from a year earlier.

Parent company Wynn Resorts itself also reported good results last week, with revenues of US$1.49 billion, up 6.9 percent for the quarter year over year. Net Earnings were US$182 million, up a massive 62.5 percent from the third quarter of 2012. Wynn stated during the quarterly earnings call his company is on its way to having the best year in its history, with revenue US$120 million ahead of projections in Macau and US$54 million in Las Vegas.

 

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