Statistics from Applied Analysis show that gambling stocks fared at almost double the average increase of stocks that gained in Standard and Poor's 500 Index. 8 gambling stocks showed a 37.2 increase while the Standard and Poor gainers went up 19.8%.

Steve Kent, an analyst with Goldman Sachs, says: "We saw consumers still traveling to Las Vegas in the first half despite the Iraqi war and the fear of terrorism. And in the second half, we saw a resurgence in convention business."

The top performing stock belonged to the Mandalay Group which rose 45% in 2003 to $44.72 a share. But as good as 2003 looked, there are warnings shares can drop in 2004 because of an overcrowded market with casinos starting in many other states.