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Howard Stutz

Jim Cramer changes gaming stances

22 July 2009

LAS VEGAS, Nevada –- Stock prognosticator Jim Cramer, the host of CNBC's "Mad Money," has not been a fan of the gaming industry. For the past year, he has warned investors to stay away from casino stocks because of falling revenues in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and other gambling markets.

But Tuesday, he changed his tune somewhat.

During the "Off the Charts" segment, Cramer said shares of Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Wynn Resorts were both potential buys.

Both companies are looking to spin off their assets in Macau into initial public offerings on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Cramer, while down on Las Vegas, still sees upside for Macau, the Chinese gambling enclave where Sands and Wynn are the two dominate American-based casino operators.

Cramer said that if investors like Las Vegas Sands, they would love Wynn, which has all of the positives of the Sands, but with far fewer of the negatives.

Wynn Resorts' IPO will come sooner and will be stronger, he said.

Las Vegas Sands wants to use proceeds from the IPO to restart construction projects on Macau's Cotai Strip region that were halted in November because of the company's financial problems.

Unlike Las Vegas Sands, it doesn't need to raise cash to get the process started. Cramer also thinks Wynn is undervalued.

"Wynn is simply much cleaner, safer and a smarter play on gambling in Macau," Cramer said.