MGM Resorts International, the largest casino operator on the Las Vegas Strip, said its loss widened in the fourth quarter as increased revenue in China failed to counter weaker growth in Las Vegas.

The loss expanded to $1.2 billion, or $2.50 a share, from a loss of $113.7 million, or 23 cents, a year earlier, Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts said in a statement today. Excluding impairement charges related to land holdings, the loss was 23 cents a share, matching the average of analysts’ estimates.

MGM has benefited from increased profit at its business in Macau as revenue in the world’s largest casino market climbed 13 percent to a record 304 billion patacas ($38 billion) last year. Fourth-quarter revenue from MGM China climbed 1.7 percent, while domestic casino revenue rose 1 percent, the company said today.

MGM China also announced a $500 million special dividend, according to the statement.

Industrywide casino revenue on the Las Vegas Strip rose 2.3 percent to $6.2 billion last year, according to research by Bloomberg Industries.

MGM Resorts fell 1.4 percent to $12.56 at 8:52 a.m. in New York. The shares have risen 9.5 percent this year through yesterday, compared with a gain of 7.3 percent for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index.

Editors: Ben Livesey and James Callan.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Palmeri in Los Angeles at [email protected] To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at [email protected]

Tags: gaming, mgm
Photo Credit: MGM Resorts' losses were piling up as revenue from Las Vegas didn't grow fast enough. Pictured is a location at the MGM Grand. Xiquinho Silva / Flickr.com