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) -- The worry over the global economy is resulting in a bloodbath for casinos Thursday.

One of the day's biggest losers in the sector is

Penn National Gaming

(PENN) - Get Free Report

, which is plunging 11.9% to $23.99. The regional gaming operator said it

narrowed its loss in the fourth-quarter

, but missed analysts' forecasts and released a rather dour 2010 outlook.

Ameristar Casinos


, which is falling 8.6% to $14.54, reported on Wednesday that it too

narrowed its fourth-quarter loss

, but failed to meet Wall Street's outlook.

Melco Crown Entertainment


painted an even bleaker picture earlier in the week. The company, which has it operations in Macau, China,

widened its loss in the fourth quarter


Shares of Melco are declining 10.8% to $3.38 in late afternoon trading.


Las Vegas Sands

(LVS) - Get Free Report

is tanking 6.4% to $15.48,

MGM Mirage

(MGM) - Get Free Report

is tumbling 5% to $10.85,

Boyd Gaming

(BYD) - Get Free Report

is losing 7.5% to $7.53 and

Wynn Resorts

(WYNN) - Get Free Report

is sinking by 5.2% to$60.95.

On the whole, the casino sector is, of course, one of the slowest sectors to recover, as consumers are finally beginning to spend on pent-up purchases of apparel and other discretionary goods, but are still cautious about gambling away their money.

Regional gaming, in particular, is being greatly affected by the job market and consumer confidence, and experts are predicting the sector won't recover until both are on firm footing.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.


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