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Las Vegas gets the casino blues

FORTUNE — Casino developers in America’s Sin City long thought they were playing with house money, but when the financial crisis hit, a slew of multibillion-dollar projects hit the skids. One casino executive estimates that at least $15 billion worth of projects have failed, been put on hold, or are struggling. The unused towers on the strip — including the 68-story Fontainebleau, the tallest tower in the city — paint a bleak picture for the nation’s gambling capital. —

Bets placed

1. Sahara $0.3 billion: What Sam Nazarian and Stockbridge Real Estate paid in 2007 for the Sahara, the last of the Rat Pack-era casinos. The building is still empty, but the company says it plans to renovate.

2. The Fontainebleau $2.9 billion: The original projected cost of the casino. Investor Carl Icahn snatched up the 70%-completed project — the tallest structure in Vegas — in 2010 for $150 million and is selling off its unused furnishings.

3. Echelon $4.8 billion: The price tag when Boyd Gaming (BYD) broke ground on this multipurpose hotel and casino in 2007. Construction has been suspended temporarily.

4. Las Vegas Plaza $5.0 billion: The projected cost of developing the Las Vegas Plaza. The Israeli El-Ad Group purchased the site for $1.2 billion in 2007. The project is still in the planning stages.

5. St. Regis Residences at the Venetian Palazzo $0.6 billion: The planned cost of this condo tower, meant to rest atop the Venetian casino complex. Owner Las Vegas Sands (LVS) has halted construction for now.

6. The Cosmopolitan $3.9 billion: Deutsche Bank (DB) foreclosed on a $760 million loan in 2010, which gave it ownership of the Cosmopolitan casino complex. In all, the bank has invested $3.9 billion in the project. The resort is losing money.

7. Harmon/CityCenter $8.5 billion: The amount invested in the CityCenter gaming and hotel complex by MGM Resorts International (MGM) and Dubai World. Contractor Perini Building is suing the owners for $313 million in cost overruns. Meanwhile, the Harmon hotel tower has not opened because it is not earthquake-proof.

Source: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

This article is from the November 7, 2011 issue of Fortune.