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Moody's downgrades Black Gaming bonds

6 Aug 2008

By Liz Benston, Las Vegas Sun
LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- As MGM Mirage executives acknowledged this morning, the company's lower-end properties, which depend on customers driving into town, have been the most hurt in the economic downturn.

Mesquite and Laughlin haven't been immune, either, as statistics show gaming and visitor declines in those markets.

Today, bond rating agency Moody's Investors Service downgraded the bonds issued by Black Gaming, saying the company could face a default if worsening business trends continue.

The company has more than $184 million in loans, with the biggest chunks carrying interest rates of 9 percent and 12.75 percent.

Black Gaming, owned by businessman Randy Black, owns the CasaBlanca, Oasis and Virgin River casinos in Mesquite.

Black was recently interviewed by Mesquite Local News stating that more layoffs are in store for the three casinos and other businesses he owns, including fast food outlets.

"We're still sliding backwards," he told the paper. "In May, we did very well. June dropped off the planet."

Copyright © Las Vegas Sun. Inc. Republished with permission.

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