Moody's increases casino rating to stable from negative on improved revenue, cost-cutting

Moody's Investors Service says U.S. casino finances are improving, but just slightly.

The ratings agency increased its industry rating Tuesday to stable from negative. It cited rising revenue, cost-cutting and easing of "cannibalizing" by casinos poaching business from established enterprises.

Moody's said revenue is flattening out, rather than falling. "We're not saying they're getting better," analyst Keith Foley said.

In 18 states Moody's tracks, casinos reported higher revenue in April and May. In May, revenue rose in all states except Connecticut and New Jersey.

Moody's previously rated the industry negative, down from stable due to declining revenue, weak demand and other problems.

Foley wrote in his outlook that consumers remain under pressure due to weak growth in disposable personal income and will continue to limit spending on gambling.