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Macau Casino Stocks Hit Hard

Most stocks of casino groups operating in Macau took a big hit on Monday amid fears of tightening credit for many high roller gamblers from China. Many stocks were down more than 20% with heavy volume and selling pressure throughout the day.

SJM Holdings lost a quarter of its value while MGM China Holdings -- owned by MGM Resorts International --was off 20% along with other Hong Kong-listed units of US casino operators.

Macau has seen record revenues in 2011 with explosive growth in gambling on slots, baccarat, and other games. Fears have been growing, however, that China might move to curb its growth and look to curtail the flow of millions of Chinese gamblers that flock to Macau.

Gambling junkets are popular in China which allow high rollers the chance to visit Macau -- the only area in China where casinos are legal -- via all-inclusive trips that include VIP treatment as well as credit to gamble with.

Rumors that the credit supply for such trips was drying up helped fuel the sell-off in Macau casino stocks on Monday, although many investors were also selling to lock in profits from the meteoric rise so far in 2011 for many publicly-traded casinos doing business in Macau.

Macau paced Las Vegas in 2006 as the world's top gambling destination based on total revenue and through August had seen nearly 60% growth in gambling revenue in 2011 as compared to 2010.


04-Oct-2011, 02:28

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