The Calumny of Apelles (Botticelli 1494)

The Myth of the Las Vegas Locals Market Recovery

Red Rock Resorts is heavily dependent on the health of the Las Vegas locals gaming market. In this report, we examine key gaming metrics in the Las Vegas locals market – going beyond simple measures of gaming revenue – in order to gauge the company’s potential to grow back up to the peak levels of 2007.

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Should You Pay Someone Else’s Income Taxes?

Under a tax distribution agreement, Station Casinos spent $43.6 million in 2016 to cover some of the federal income tax obligations of the Fertitta family and other owners of the company. Should Red Rock shareholders continue to let Station Casinos, of which they own 57%, spend cash on covering the income tax liabilities of pre-IPO owners like the Fertittas?

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Big brown bear (Ursus arctos) in the mountain

Fallow Land, Hollow Claims

Red Rock Resorts has been talking up its Las Vegas development sites and master-planned expansions in its presentations to investors and SEC filings. However, after a review of local real estate listings and planning agency documents, we found development sites for sale and no approvals on file for some of the company’s master-planned expansions.

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Questions about the Palms Acquisition

Red Rock Resorts announced its acquisition of the Palms on May 10. We believe investors and analysts should ask the following questions: When will Red Rock disclose the Palms purchase agreement? What will Red Rock have to do to bump Palms’ EBITDA up by 25% in one year? Will “Palms Station” cannibalize Palace Station?

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How Will Red Rock Grow in a Saturated and Stagnant Market?

The flip side of Station Casinos’ saturation of the locals market means growth in its core Las Vegas business would have to come from significant increases in (1) the population of Las Vegas and/or (2) customer spending per capita. Facing low population growth and a decline in locals’ gaming behaviors, the company is unlikely to experience much, if any, upside in its core Las Vegas locals business.

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