BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- The heat of summer's finally here -- and with that heat comes the swarms of travelers to vacation hotspots around the globe. Until recently, Las Vegas would have been one of the top choices on that list.That's changed in the last couple of years as consumers' discretionary spending tightened and casinos fell to the bottom of the priority chain. In response, everyone from the airlines to the resort companies has slashed prices, hoping that bargains would lure tourists to spend cash in Vegas' famous casinos. The city's tourism machine, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, spent millions to convince consumers that "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." And ultimately, the efforts of Sin City seem to be paying off -- and potentially rewarding Wall Street too. But Vegas isn't the only option for casino giants anymore. There's growth to be had in Macau, China's own version of Vegas. Here's a look at how a resurgence in Las Vegas visitors and continued growth in Macau could be benefitting shareholders of three casino stocks this summer. While each of these three stocks has substantial business outside of Vegas, the city remains a cornerstone of each company -- and a potential catalyst for significant EPS growth in third-quarter 2010. But Macau's higher table bets mean potentially higher margins for gaming firms who want to maximize their casino real estate. One way to take advantage of an uptick in Las Vegas' consumer spending is through $15 billion casino stock Las Vegas Sands ( LVS), helmed by Sheldon Adelson, which owns the famed Venetian Resort Hotel Casino as well as the more-storied Sands name. As with many other gaming plays, Sands is highly leveraged and extremely reliant on consumer trends to keep its rooms full and its gaming floors active. While Sands has been one of the biggest players in Macau, China's only gambling destination, and other venues in Asia, Nevada continues to be its bread and butter. Among the company's biggest bets is the Palazzo Resort, a luxury hotel and casino that sits next door to the Venetian. The Palazzo opened its doors to customers in December 2007, one of the worst times to be a casino owner. But as the economy recovers, this resort could prove to be one of the most attractive if only for its luxury appeal; with AAA's coveted Five Diamond Award under its belt this year, Palazzo is one of only a handful of Vegas resorts in its class.
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