recorddrop in gaming revenue

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The number of people visiting Las Vegas in October 2008 was justover three million, 350,000 fewer than in October 2007, the LVCVAreported. Following suit were average hotel occupancy and theaverage daily room rate. Average hotel occupancy in October was87.9% down 720 basis points from the same year-earlier period,while motel occupancy dropped to 53.1% from 72.8%. The averagedaily room rate fell 14.3% to $115.68 from $135.

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The total number of room nights occupied in Las Vegas in October2008 was 3.6 million, down from 3.8 million in October 2007.Airplane passenger traffic was down 12.8% while auto traffic wasdown 7.3%.

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Earlier this week, the Gaming Control Board reported thatgamblers lost $905 million in Nevada in October 2008, 22.3% lessthan they did in October 2007. Gaming Control Board senior researchanalyst Frank Streshley told GlobeSt.com it is the largestyear-over-year decline since the state began recording on a monthlybasis back in the 1980s. On the Las Vegas Strip, gaming win fell25.8% to $475 million from $639.8 million, which also was a recorddecline.

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Casino companies' have seen their stock prices decline even moreprecipitously. The Applied Analysis Gaming Index, which rises andfalls with the stock prices of 10 public gaming companies withsignificant operations in Nevada, including Las Vegas Sands, WynnResorts, MGM Mirage, Boyd Gaming and Pinnacle Entertainment, hitits lowest level since 2004 at the end of November 2008.

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Launched in 1998 with a value of 100, the index hit a high of667.09 in October 2007 on the strength of the record gaming revenuethat month. Thirteen months later, with the majority of gamingcompanies in the index have seen their daily average stock pricesfall between 70% and 95% in the past year, the Index stands at225.91.

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