Economic pinch is felt in high places

Feb. 7, 2008 at 6:23 PM
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LAS VEGAS, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- October 2007 to February 2008 has not been the best of times for casinos and some of Las Vegas' richest citizens are feeling the economic pinch.

Or, make that some of America's richest -- and make that much more than a pinch.

Kirk Kerkorian, the majority shareholder of MGM Mirage -- No. 7 on the Forbes 400 list of the world's richest -- reportedly has lost $4.6 billion, roughly 30 percent of the value of his gambling concerns, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Steve Wynn -- 86th on the list with, at one time, a net value of $3.9 billion -- has suffered, too, as the value of Wynn Resorts peaked in October and has since declined by one third.

Wynn's estimated loss stands at $1.4 billion, the report said.

Not to be outdone, Las Vegas' Sands has had its share value plummet 40 percent since October. The $10.8 billion loss has to hurt Chairman Sheldon Adelson -- the third-richest man in America -- although his holdings in the resort were valued Wednesday at $15.9 billion.

With the Dow Jones industrial average down 14 percent since October, Americans have less cash to spend and have cut back on leisure pursuits, such as vacations and gambling, analysts say.

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