International edition
July 26, 2021

Macau booms as China economy stays strong

Sands and other Macau casinos set monthly gaming record

(Macau).- Macau continues to be a golden cash cow for Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts and other casinos in the world's top casino gaming destination. Analysts forecast that gross gaming revenue for Macau this month had already set a new record by this Monday, with four playing days left in October.

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BC Capital Markets analyst John Kempf projects that gaming revenue for the first 27 days of the month totaled us$ 4.1 billion, topping the previous monthly record us$ 3.93 billion set in March. Kempf cited renewed Chinese growth.

"China's economy grew by 7.8% year over year in Q3, in line with expectations and ahead of the country's 7.5% annual growth target. In addition, industrial production rose 10.2% year over year in September," Kempf said, as retail sales grew 13.3% in September.

Macau draws middle class "mass market" gamblers mostly from China and nearby Asian countries, and attracts high-roller "VIP" gamers from around the globe. China's improving economy boosts the mass market take, the largest share of Macau's revenue.

Stern Agee said in a report on Tuesday that it expects Macau revenue to be about 15% higher than the March record, which would put the monthly total at about us$ 4.52 billion. Wells Fargo projected gaming revenue about 30% higher than the same month a year ago.

Macau is already well past the us$ 40 billion a year level, and analysts have speculated it could be the first gaming region to top the us$ 100 billion mark in a few years time.

Shares of Sands, the world's largest casino company, eased less than 1% in morning trading in the stock market today. Like MGM and Wynn, Sands benefits both from rapid growth in Macau and slower, steady growth in the U.S. Sands, which is on the proprietary IBD Leaderboard list of top-rated stocks, rose 53% from June 24 to October 21 before consolidating.

MGM, Number 2 global casino by revenue, is slated to report third-quarter earnings results on Thursday before the market opens. Consensus is for revenue to fall 7% to us$ 2.42 billion, and a 3-cent per share loss, much improved from the post-recession 23-cent loss a year ago. MGM was down a bit Tuesday midday.

Wynn and Hong Kong-based Melco Crown Entertainment, which competes with the Las Vegas casinos in Macau, slid, as did highly rated Reno, Nevada-based Monarch Casino & Resort (MCRI), which operates the Atlantis casino.

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