Cutting Spending and Reducing Debt the Casino Way

October 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Spending

I’ve been wondering if there are millions of Americans out there who are anxiously awaiting the return of the good old days of borrow and spend.  I have to think that there are some folks for whom saving and living within your means is like being in debtor’s prison.

Maybe consumer credit scores have been creeping up from all this forced frugality and they are eager to exercise their new spending power.

Now we find out that even the Vegas casinos have accepted the message of the new economy. In this Wall Street Journal article, casino owners and developers say that the old “if you build it they will come” economic model is dead and gone. Instead, the casinos will concentrate on “paying down on debt and cutting back on spending.”

Say what?  Casino conservatism? Is this a sign of the economic apocalypse?

It’s actually acceptance of reality. According to the article, Vegas gambling revenues are down 13% through July, visits are down 6% and room rates have dropped 26%.  MGM Mirage has $12 billion in debt to contend with. It’s ugly, just like consumer balance sheets.

I like this. I hope every consumer in America reads or hears this news and receives an “aha” moment from it. If sin city business can pull back and re-think their financial plans for the future, so can we.

(I also like the reduced Vegas room rates!)

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