Boyd Gaming Continues to Strengthen Foothold in Vegas

The competition in gaming isn't just among players at a table or with a dealer against the house. It's big business and corporations go head-to-head for big pots as well. That's what we've seen this week as Boyd Casinos has built up their chip count by acquiring assets in Las Vegas.

A big purchase has been completed by Boyd Gaming, which operates 22 casinos as well as hotels and associated buildings in eight different states. They have finalized a deal with Cannery Casino Resorts, which is sure to improve their position in the fast-growing area of North Las Vegas. The deal will see Boyd buying a company that already has two casinos in Las Vegas, including one of which is in the northern part of the city. Northern Las Vegas seems to be the home of many start-up companies in the technological industry, which means there are people with money to burn and what better place to do that in Las Vegas than in a casino. Original estimates for the purchase were between $225 and $240 million, but on Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported the final number to be $230 million.

Boyd Gaming is a born-and-bred Las Vegas staple which was started up by Sam Boyd in 1941. Boyd moved to Las Vegas with his family and got to become known around the city in the casino industry before starting his own company in 1975. They already own places such as the California Hotel and Casino, the Fremont Hotel and Casino and Main Street Station, along with Eldorado Casino, Jokers Wild Casino and Sam's Town Hotel and Gambling Hall, among many others. The news comes less than a week after Boyd agreed to buy the Aliante Casino and Hotel for $380 million. Both of the purchases will be added to Boyd's Las Vegas portfolio, which accounted for 28% of the company's revenue last year.

On the other end, Cannery Casino Resorts, which is owned by Millennium Gaming, sold The Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Pittsburgh, so clearly they've been realigning their investments. They still manage the Rampart Casino - also in Las Vegas - but they're definitely downsizing their assets.

All this is a power move by Boyd Gaming to keep their name in the ring when it comes to Las Vegas gambling. For all the talk of players going to online gambling, which some are, Las Vegas hasn't really been hit that hard. They've managed to reposition themselves as an entertainment destination where you can see shows like Britney Spears, eat at Gordon Ramsay's restaurants and party poolside with the Kardashians. Now there's a brand-new pro sports arena on the strip and soon the NHL is expected to join the fray. Boyd's latest deals are ensuring that they'll have a sizable footprint on everything that happens in Las Vegas.

Investors were happy with the latest news as they have been with Boyd over the last year. Shares are up a whopping 51% in the last 12 months and are up over two-percent in the last five days of trading.