Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008 | 6:19 p.m.
The U.S. gaming industry will remain under significant pressure in 2009 and will likely recover in 2010, according Fitch Ratings, a global credit ratings agency.
In a Tuesday report, Fitch said the gaming industry this year experienced a greater effect from difficult financial conditions for consumers than many investors had expected.
Fitch expects overall consumer spending to drop by 1.6 percent in 2009 and remain soft until 2010.
With the recent decline in gas prices and reductions in airline capacity and international demand, the report says regional and local markets will fare better than destination markets, such as Las Vegas and the Strip.
The report indicates the gaming industry will be “more economically sensitive than in previous downturns, which clearly was exhibited in the past year.”