Tue, Apr 05, 2011 - Page 11 News List

Wynn leads casino stocks up as Macau revenue sets record


Wynn Macau Ltd (永利澳門), a unit of the company founded by billionaire Steven Wynn, led Macau casino operators higher in Hong Kong trading yesterday after total casino revenue in the Chinese territory set a new monthly record.

Wynn Macau surged 10.2 percent to HK$23.70, the biggest gain since it started trading in October 2009. Sands China Ltd (金沙中國) advanced the most in five months and billionaire Stanley Ho’s (何鴻燊) SJM Holdings Ltd (澳門博彩控) climbed 8.6 percent to HK$14.88.

Gambling revenue for the world’s largest casino hub rose 48 percent last month as gamblers from mainland China placed more bets on baccarat and other card games. It’s the first time that monthly gaming revenue has topped 20 billion Macau patacas (US$2.5 billion), according to CLSA Ltd analyst Aaron Fischer.

“This growth is impressive,” Fischer said. “March is a ‘normal’ month, a relatively low season with companies using this period to reconfigure gaming floors or maintenance, add in new VIP rooms to gear up for the Golden Week holidays.”

Sands China, the Macau unit of billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas-based casino company, rose 6.9 percent to HK$18.48.

Macau, the only place in China where casinos are legal, boosted casino gambling revenue 58 percent last year to 188.3 billion patacas, about four times more than the Las Vegas Strip’s US$5.8 billion, according to government data. Total casino revenue for Macau’s six casino operators reached 58.5 billion patacas in the first three months of this year, 43 percent higher than a year earlier, according to data from the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.

Melco International Development Ltd (新濠國際發展), which has a Macau casino joint venture with Australia’s richest man James Packer, climbed 7.3 percent to HK$5.56.

Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd (銀河娛樂集團), the casino operator part-owned by Permira Advisers LLP, rose 4 percent to HK$11.92.

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