New fees may have contributed to Las Vegas casino concerns, stock plunge

(File)

It was a roller coaster week for some of the valley's biggest companies, as MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment saw their stock prices plummet amid questions about the Las Vegas Strip.

Last week, during earnings calls with investors, executives from both MGM and Caesars softened their forecast for the companies' third quarters and said they expected lower revenues in the coming months. Shortly after, the stock prices fell sharply.

"It's really interesting because the calls had some negative news, they were trying to lower expectations and usually in Las Vegas they're trying to raise expectations," David Schwartz said. Schwartz is the Director of UNLV's Center for Gaming Research. He said one of the major factors in the companies' announcements is that valley "visitorship" has taken a hit in 2018.

"I think visitorship being down definitely plays into it," Schwartz said. "I think the lower in demand is a challenge everybody is facing."

Schwartz said it's hard to tell what is the root cause of the casino's concerns, but he thinks it may have to do with the recent increase in fees.

"It's hard to pin it on one factor, you have a lot of things like fewer big events than there were last year, but you also have fees and paid parking and all that and that has alienated a lot of people," Schwartz said.

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