Investors wager Macau’s casinos still holding some trump cards

Macau's fortune is expected to improve, despite dire casino results over the past year
Macau’s casino shares have risen in Hong Kong, as investors look past the gambling hub’s 39 per cent year-on-year revenue fall last month.

Shares in Wynn Macau, Sands China and Galaxy Entertainment Group all advanced yesterday on hopes the industry’s slump has reached its nadir.

Gambling revenue in the Chinese territory plummeted for an 11th consecutive month, as wealthy gamblers steered clear of the country’s only legal casino hub.

A crackdown on corruption led by Chinese leader Xi Jinping, targeting the illicit outflow of money from China, has hit revenues hard in Macau, which still enjoys six times the revenue of Las Vegas.

But those taking the longer view point out that less than two per cent of China’s 1.4bn people have visited Macau and that a planned extension of a high-speed rail network will slash travel time to the enclave in the coming years. Development of a neighbouring island is also expected to boost visitor numbers.

Analysts say Galaxy Entertainment and Sands China are primed for a pick-up. Galaxy will double its presence by opening a new multi-billion dollar casino in May, while Sands’ casinos have been designed to cater to ordinary punters, who are expected drive growth.

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