Saturday, December 29, 2007

Weekend Update

Catching up on Minutia

Who do buy? MGM sales of shares are those some buyers do buy. Sometimes the sales are as sweet as dew buy. Other times selling is what share owners do by. But a recent large purchase made the SEC and other gaming company watchers ask, "Are those the folks from Dubai who do buy MGM stocks?" The sentence might be a tongue twister but the purchase by Dubai investors of nearly half a billion dollars of MGM stock qualifies the investors for a seat on the MGM Board of Directors. That milestone came as a shock to many gaming insiders, not to mention some folks from Dubai where gaming is illegal. There is no truth to the rumor that MGM placed restrictions on the sale of their stock - such as the ability to spell MGM backwards.

Slip Sliding Away: The line from the once popular song, "The nearer you get to your destination the more you keep slip sliding away," seems to capture the sales figures of new home sales nationally as well as in Las Vegas. While new home sales locally are down more than 40% compared to the same month last year, housing prices have not taken that severe a fall. Although those numbers might convince so many Chicken Littles that not only sales but the sky is falling, there is another side to the coin. The only people who point out that a falling market presents opportunities for those in a position to buy seem to be economics professors.

Make it So: Remember Data in the old Star Trek series? He was the android who just wanted to be a real boy even more than Pinocchio. But sadly, unlike Pinocchio he remained a "droid." In several episodes of Star Trek Data wore a poker visor. A Trekkie bought the visor for 6 grand at an officially sanctioned auction. But when he tracked down the actor who played Data for a signature, the real life actor told the hapless collector it's a fake. I smell a lawsuit here.

All Things to All People - Not: Wal-Mart. The place where you can buy nearly anything from HDTVs to lunch no longer offers online movie downloads. As shocking as that might seem to the millions of Americans who are on the edge of their La-Z-Boys, folks who want to rent flix will have to try Netflix or one of its competitors. If Wal-Mart is your huckleberry for DVD rentals, I hope you're already stocked up for New Year's Eve. Otherwise you might be singing, "Should Auld old movies be forgot..."

Gimmee a Break: Tourism folks who talk about New Year's eve in Las Vegas predict that crowds will break 300,000 this year setting another attendance record. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority thinks that number will pump $ 212 million of non-gaming revenue into the economy. There are 10 new clubs in which to party hearty and few new rooms available but they're priced slightly higher than last year's. If you are a steely-eyed gambler you might wait until the last minute to see if the price drops - but if they all sell out you could be sleeping in your car.

Dr. Forgot

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