- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 29, 2015

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Wynn Resorts Ltd.’s profit fell 72 percent in the second quarter, stymied by an on-going decline in the Asian gambling enclave of Macau and fewer high-roller Chinese baccarat players in Las Vegas.

CEO Steve Wynn said Wednesday that the numbers should come as no surprise.

“Macau continues to be more of a question than a certainty,” he said.

The casino hub has been beset by losses, especially among VIP gamblers, amid a corruption crackdown by the Chinese government.

Still, Wynn said the company is on pace to open its $4.1 billion 1,700-room Wynn Palace casino resort on the Cotai strip area of Macau by March 25. Wynn said the company anticipated market changes five years ago when it began designing the resort and is optimistic, considering the circumstances, about its opening.

Wynn was diplomatic in describing the Las Vegas market where he oversees his Wynn and Encore resorts as a “comfortable business.” The company is enjoying revenue outside of its casinos “that’s acceptable,” he said. Wynn Resort’s non-gaming revenue was up 5.3 percent in Las Vegas to $330.3 million.

For the company as a whole, food and beverage sales was the only category that increased compared to last year.

The highly lucrative but often volatile card game of baccarat that made fortunes for Nevada’s casinos during the quarter last year has been far less fortuitous this year, affecting Wynn Resorts which has considered itself the top choice for visiting Chinese gamblers looking to play. There were simply fewer playing this year, Wynn said.

As for the other games on its casino floor, Wynn said the company did some rearranging in July, changing the odds in some cases and increasing the minimum bets required, pushing the games with a smaller profit margin to other locations.

“We win more money with less games now,” he said. “We’re not in the business to offer games that don’t make money.”

Asked if the company is considering buying any other available properties, he said it’s not involved in any active discussions at the moment.

“I’d rather build our own stuff,” he said.

The Las Vegas company earned $56.5 million, or 56 cents per share in the quarter that ended June 30, compared to $203.9 million, or $2 a share, during the three-month period a year ago. Adjusted earnings per share totaled 74 cents. The company’s second-quarter revenue fell to $1.04 billion from $1.41 billion in 2014, falling short of analyst expectations.

A FactSet survey forecast $1.07 billion of revenue and adjusted earnings per share of 96 cents.

Shares in Wynn Resorts rose $1.22, or 1.3 percent, to $97.25 in extended trading following the release of the earnings report. They closed the regular trading session at $96.03, down more than 35 percent for 2015.

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