Gaming stocks plummet with the rest

Gaming stocks, which seemed impervious to slumping market conditions in July while debate raged on in Congress over raising the federal debt ceiling, didn’t survive Thursday’s 513-point stock market plunge.

Share prices for large gaming companies, regional casino operators and the gaming equipment sector all tanked Thursday.

Wynn Resorts Ltd., which operates casinos in Las Vegas and Macau, took the largest price hit, falling $10.68, 7.04 percent, on the Nasdaq National Market to close at $141.07. The largest percentage declines were experienced by Boyd Gaming Corp., whose shares were down 85 cents, 10.81 percent, to close at $7.01, and MGM Resorts International, which saw its stock price lose $1.53, 10.78 percent of its value, to close at $12.66.

Brian Gordon, a principal at Las Vegas-based financial consultant Applied Analysis, said the gaming industry wasn’t shielded from concerns about the state of the economy and about international economic conditions.

"When the markets began to unravel, the concern was across the board," Gordon said. "Gaming stocks are dependent on discretionary spending across a broad economy.

Las Vegas Sands Corp., which operates casinos in Las Vegas, Pennsylvania and Singapore and is in Macau with Wynn and MGM Resorts, saw its share price decline $3.54, 7.57 percent, to close at $43.25 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Penn National Gaming, which owns the M Resort, had the largest price decline among regional casino operators, falling $2.16 to close at $37.91, down 5.39 percent.

Among slot machine manufacturers, International Game Technology fell $1.29, 7.63 percent, to close at $16.33; Bally Technologies fell $1.61, 4.23 percent, to close at $36.46; and WMS Industries was off $1.83, 6.75 percent, to close at $25.28. All three companies are traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

The carnage wasn’t limited to gaming stocks.

NV Energy fell 58 cents, 4.07 percent, to close at $13.66 on the New York Stock Exchange. Southwest Gas Corp. lost $1.10, 2.95 percent, to close at 36.25.

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