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U.S. Gaming Market: Risky?

By Daniel Michaels, May 20th 2005
U.S. Gaming Market: Risky?
Wednesday, April 23 2003

MGM Mirage Chairman Terry Lanni, Wynn Resorts Chairman Steve Wynn and Millennium Management co-owner Bill Paulos said recently that proposals to increase casino taxes from Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey make it clear that domestic casino opportunities are no longer as rosy as many once thought. In a recent conference call for industry analysts and investors, Lanni noted his company has "less" interest in Illinois' final license because of the governor's proposed tax rate. He then debunked the notion that MGM Mirage is counting on new U.S. jurisdictions for growth. "I think there are very few opportunities for growth in the U.S.," says Lanni. "It's a mature industry in the U.S." Steve Wynn agreed, saying Thursday: "The lesson is that you better be in a place where gaming is vital to the state's economy. Mississippi, Nevada, Macau. Places where the jobs and other economic benefits are understood. Everywhere else is a risk." Wynn and The Venetian's Sheldon Adelson are already licensed to open casinos in Macau, and Lanni cited potential overseas opportunities in the United Kingdom, Thailand and Macau as more interesting to MGM Mirage than domestic prospects.



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