Penn National boosts Tropicana number amid uncertainty
August 03, 2016 8:27 AM
by Phil Hevener
Penn National gaming executives see a slow moving cloud of uncertainty moving across the casino business during the next several months as they try to anticipate the impact of presidential politics on consumer spending in Las Vegas where the company operates casinos.
Based of current performance, the Las Vegas area looks good at its Tropicana and M Resort properties. Also, the potential for improved business coming from southern California appears positive. Penn is preparing for the opening of its Hollywood Casino Jamul near San DiegoIndian casino near San Diego later in August.
But what will the impact of presidential politics be on consumer spending?
“I think it depends on who you ask, who you’re talking to,” Chief Operating OfficerJay Snowden said. “There is uncertainty but will it be more or less as we approach election day? Your guess is as good as mine.” Adding another factor to the issues to be weighed by consumers, he said, “The economy is going to have some impact on discretionary spending levels.”
Penn President Tim Wilmott said, “We are all watching what’s going on. We have probably never see a presidential election like we’re seeing it in 2016, but we’re not experts enough to speculate in a meaningful way on its over-arching effect on the economy.”
For the moment, Penn officials are satisfied that their makeover of the Tropicana has generated some satisfying numbers. The slot volume was 30 percent better than a year ago during the second quarter as the company increases its marketing focus on casino customers