In Gloomy Economy, Even Vegas Is Down on Its Luck

Investors dry up as gambler demand drops
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2008 11:14 AM CDT
"The economy has fallen hard, and to a magnitude people didn't anticipate. There are development projects that are having trouble even getting construction financing," one analyst said of casinos.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The economic downturn is hitting Las Vegas casinos with a one-two punch: Gamblers have less money to spare, and investors are less willing to shell out for glamorous new projects. Several casino companies have recently filed for bankruptcy protection, the Wall Street Journal reports. "This is the toughest environment we've faced," says one gaming exec.

Squeezed customers are not just gambling less; they're spending less at the luxury restaurants and stores where casinos make most of their money. "After 9/11, everyone thought Vegas was immune to just about anything, and it is suddenly obvious and maybe kind of scary that it is not," says a Moody's analyst.