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Are Gaming Stocks a Good Gamble?

25 November 2002

NEW YORK – As reported by the Wall Street Journal: "In an in-depth (9,300 words) Roundtable Forum, Daniel Davila, a Senior Vice President/Senior Equity Analyst at Hibernia Southcoast Capital and William J. Lerner, the Senior Gaming Analyst at Prudential Securities, examine the outlook for the sector and share specific stock recommendations. This interview is part of a 82 - page Gaming issue featuring in-depth interviews from five analysts and top management of thirteen sector firms and is available by telephoning 212-952-7400 x1799 or through The Wall Street Transcript

TWST: How has the gaming industry weathered challenges presented by the recession and the drop-off in leisure travel this year?

Mr. Davila: I think the gaming group has actually performed quite well over the past 12 to 13 months. Coming out of 9/11 last year I think we found that there really wasn't anything wrong with the gambling industry as much as there was something wrong with the travel industry sort of impeding the natural customer base going to Las Vegas. For the people to get their form of entertainment within relative close proximity, they went to the riverboats and we saw the returns from the riverboats go up dramatically post-9/11 of last year. A lot of that strength has been sustained coming into this year. I think it's been partly a good defensive play for investors, given the uncertainty in the market, but partly it's been driven by some of the better underlying fundamentals in the industry.

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