Las Vegas Bets on Losers

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In one way, it was a particularly tough weekend for casino operators in Las Vegas. Actually, it was tough for the casinos' sports books, which for the first time since 1995 lost money on Super Bowl wagering. While the game generated $92.1 million in total wagers, the books lost $2.6 million, due to the New York Giants' upset win over the Patriots.

But the overall news for Vegas was good. The city's convention bureau says visitors spent $116 million on everything except gambling over the weekend. That was up by $6 million over last year's Super Bowl weekend. And the hit taken by the sports books probably didn't matter that much, since sports wagering only accounts for about one percent of Nevada's total gaming revenues.

And speaking of losers, a story in today's Las Vegas Review-Journal discloses that three Las Vegas casino owners have lost a total of $16.8 billion (that's billion with a B) in the value of their gaming holdings since the stock market started its tumble last fall. Las Vegas Sands owner Sheldon Adelson tops the list with a $10.8 billion loss. Others taking a hit were MGM Mirage's Kirk Kerkorian (down $4.6 billion) and Wynn Resorts Chairman Steve Wynn (down $1.4 billion). Again, don't feel too sorry for them: Even after these current losses, the three moguls are worth a combined $32 billion.

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