GamingIndustryStocks.com (GIS) an investor and industry news portal for the gaming sector, presents an investor podcast with Mr. Dan Ahrens, Portfolio Manager for the Ladenburg Thalmann Gaming and Casino Fund (GACFX), a no-load, multi-cap equity fund that invests primarily in casinos and gaming manufacturers, as well as pari-mutuel, lottery and electronic video game industries. The online interview and podcast takes a look at recent activities within the casino industry with Harrah’s and Station Casinos’ private-equity buyouts, developments in the Macau gaming market, continued domestic gaming sector growth and recent performance of Ladenburg’s Gaming and Casino Fund.
The casino market has been buzzing with the growing number of private equity deals coming into play with major buy-outs in the works for Harrah’s Entertainment and Station Casinos. With private equity firms having a considerable amount of money at their disposal, they are looking to put that money to work and casinos have become recent targets.
“When it comes to casinos, they are starting to be seen as two different types of entities. On the one hand we have an operating company that is providing very good cash flow. Gaming is booming, it has been for years and the ‘take’, the part that the casinos get to keep from the gamblers is very attractive. The second part of the equation is real estate. Casinos have their entire operations based on some of the most valuable real estate in the United States and this is adding value to their stock,” describes Ahrens.
Despite recent pullbacks, a positive factor for gaming stocks has been companies with Far East exposure. One of the largest markets in the Far East is Macau, a region that has attracted considerable investment and attention from many of the major casino players as they expand internationally and has become known as the gambling capital of the world. Despite the flood of companies entering this market and the issues of insufficient infrastructure and accommodations, many including Mr. Ahrens see significant market growth ahead.
As Dan Ahrens explains, “Macau has just overtaken Las Vegas in total gaming revenue, but they are doing it with much fewer properties. Gaming is still in its infancy in Macau. There are many properties that will offer very nice hotel rooms and convention spaces, but have yet to open. These accommodations are going to appeal to a mass market and it is going to get people staying in Macau for longer trips. I see great opportunities for growth in Macau; it is going to be a long term story.”
The domestic market for gaming has also shown considerable potential as new markets continue to emerge. “Year after year we continue to see gaming expansion in the United States. In this past year gaming has recently been approved in Pennsylvania. Additional States are considering bringing gaming in where it has not existed previously and every time we see new casinos being built it is new business for the manufacturers as well,” describes Ahrens.
Moving forward Ladenburg’s Gaming and Casino Fund will continue to focus on domestic and international gaming markets across a variety of segments. “The fund has done well long term and there are some great buying opportunities in gaming stocks so far in 2007. The fund really has a balanced strategy and even though we are invested strictly in gaming stocks, we still like to diversify between U.S. regional casinos and large casinos with significant exposure in the Far East and other areas around the world, as well as between casino operators and manufacturers. In the mix are also some pari-mutuel horse racing companies, some lottery operators and electronic video game companies,” states Ahrens.
About our Gaming Portal
GamingIndustryStocks.com, a portal within the InvestorIdeas.com® content umbrella, does not make recommendations, but features industry and stock news, exclusive articles and financial columnists, audio interviews and Podcasts, investor conferences, Blogs, and a directory of stocks in the sector.
InvestorIdeas.com Disclaimer: Our sites do not make recommendations, but offer information portals to research news, articles, stock lists and recent research. Nothing on our sites should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell products or securities. We attempt to research thoroughly, but we offer no guarantees as to the accuracy of information presented. All Information relating to featured companies is sourced from public documents and/ or the company and is not the opinion of our web sites. This site is currently compensated by featured companies, news submissions and online advertising. The Ladenburg Thalmann Gaming and Casino Fund does not compensate InvestorIdeas.com.
For more information contact:
Dawn Van Zant: 800.665.0411
Source: GamingIndustryStocks.com, Ladenburg Thalmann Gaming and Casino Fund.