bully pulpit, casinos, cumulative abnormal returns, event studies, gaming, Las Vegas, presidential rhetoric, stock market
Original Research Article
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.