S&P Evaluates Casino Stock - Monday 19th of June 2006

NEW YORK - Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchServices believes casino stock valuations will depend on a variety offactors over the coming 12 months, including prospects for companies beingable to boost earnings and cash flow, according to a report published todayin Standard & Poor's CreditWeek, the financial market intelligence leader'sweekly magazine on investment risk. The special report on the global gamingand lodging industry with contributions from both credit and equity analystperspectives, also indicates that growth opportunities will partly dependon the regulatory environment in the U.S. and elsewhere.

For the U.S. gaming industry, Standard & Poor's U.S. Equity Researchprojects that casino winnings in 2006 will total $50.3 billion, up 5.5%from an estimated $47.6 billion in 2005. Further, it estimates growth fromthe Las Vegas Strip area to outpace that of the broader industry, helped bystrength from both leisure and business travelers whose budgets may be lesscrimped by higher energy prices than drive-in customers visiting regionalgaming locations.

"In the foreseeable future, we expect that Las Vegas and Atlantic Citywill remain the largest U.S. gaming markets," said Thomas Graves, CFA,senior analyst, Standard & Poor's Equity Research Services. "However, wesee a long- term trend toward legislators or voters approving geographicindustry expansion. Arguments for increased legalization of gaming includeopportunities to boost tax revenues, encourage tourism, and create jobs."

Despite the growth of opportunities in the U.S. and inroads made byAmerican firms in Macau and Singapore, Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchServices has a neutral outlook on the group of seven casino stocks that itcovers, although recommendations vary on individual issues. For instance,Las Vegas Sands (LVS: Standard & Poor's ranking: Sell, $71); Wynn Resorts(WYNN: Sell, $71) and MGM MIRAGE (MGM: Hold, $41), to name a few.

The equity research reports and recommendations provided by Standard &Poor's Equity Research Services are performed separately from any otheranalytic activity of Standard & Poor's. Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchServices has no access to non- public information received by other unitsof Standard & Poor's. Standard & Poor's does not trade on its own account.

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