'Don’t Blow a Bunch of Cash on Vegas': An Event Study Analysis of President Obama’s Public Statements Towards Las Vegas

UNLV Gaming Research & Review Journal, Vol. 15, Issue 2, pp. 59-75, 2011

Posted: 12 Jul 2012 Last revised: 24 Sep 2014

See all articles by Paul Gift

Paul Gift

Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business and Management

Michael J. Gift

University of Macau

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

In February of 2009 and 2010, President Obama made what some in the media and gaming industries construed as negative public statements regarding trips to Las Vegas. Some claimed these statements could easily be interpreted as a suggestion that companies and individuals avoid casino areas, thus doing additional harm to their surrounding economies during already tough times. In this paper, we use event study methodology to examine stock market reactions of U.S. casino-related businesses to the president’s statements. We find that President Obama’s statements were followed by significant negative abnormal returns in the segment of companies targeted more towards conventions, trade shows, and tourism, and by significant positive abnormal returns for companies with more of a local/regional focus. Our findings suggest that the president’s statements did not adversely affect all casino-related businesses, but they also were not benign.

Keywords: Bully Pulpit, Casinos, Cumulative Abnormal Returns, Event Studies, Gaming, Las Vegas, Presidential Rhetoric, Stock Market

Suggested Citation

Gift, Paul and Gift, Michael J., 'Don’t Blow a Bunch of Cash on Vegas': An Event Study Analysis of President Obama’s Public Statements Towards Las Vegas (2011). UNLV Gaming Research & Review Journal, Vol. 15, Issue 2, pp. 59-75, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2104371

Paul Gift (Contact Author)

Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business and Management ( email )

6100 Center Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90045
United States

Michael J. Gift

University of Macau ( email )

P.O. Box 3001
Macau

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