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Thursday, July 10, 2003

"Holy One-Armed Bandits, Batman"

Indian Country Today reports Indian Casinos are starting to kick the Maf's butt, in a frontpage story.

Boom times for Indian casinos, says Merrill Lynch
But watch out for rapid growth

Posted: July 10, 2003 - 9:09am EST
by: Mark Fogarty / Today Correspondent

NEW YORK - American Indian casinos will take in $15 billion, 36 percent of national gaming revenue this year, a figure that will rise to 40 percent by 2006, according to a major report by Merrill Lynch.

With this increase and further expansion on the horizon, Indian gaming has penetrated the bond market, with four financings since December, the investment banking company reported.

With stagnant markets in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, the dynamic growth in gaming is all in Indian country, wrote Merrill analyst Kurt van Kuller. But he also warned "rapid growth can be a mixed blessing."

Casino bonds often come with "a gusher of revenues," according to van Kuller. But, "investors need to ponder market saturation and the impact of potential new competitors in a fast-changing environment."(more)

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