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Gamblers' Luck Is No Lady to Cash-Strapped Aladdin

May 17, 2001|From Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — The newest hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip, the Aladdin, is blaming a huge quarterly loss on unusually lucky gamblers.

Analysts said the $1.3-billion mega-resort needs $8.7 million within two weeks to pay its bills, or it could be forced into restructuring or bankruptcy.

"I think it's really the banks' call at this point," said Jason Kroll, gaming analyst with Bear Stearns. "When you get the numbers, it's definitely a cold slap."

The Aladdin's growing financial predicament was outlined in the property's first-quarter financial report issued Wednesday.

The property reported $8.3 million in cash flow for the three months ended March 31--a 42% decline from the fourth quarter of 2000, and well below the $20-million cash flow the Aladdin needs each quarter to meet its fixed debt and lease payments.

The 2,567-room hotel-casino reported net revenue of $73.7 million and a net loss of $47.2 million.

The Aladdin said it was been hurt by a low table-game hold of 14.5% for the quarter, compared with an expected 17.5%

The casino's average slot win per machine was $86 per day for the first quarter, or about $20 a day below the average at other Strip hotels.

Andrew Zarnett, gaming analyst with Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown, called bankruptcy increasingly probable.

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