Revenue rose to $35 billion at the Chinese special administrative region of Macau in 2012, up 13.5% for the year after posting a record rise of nearly 20% in December. Predictions of a downturn due to tighter money transfers and visa restrictions did not materialize in 2012, but they continue to leave a cloud over the outlook for 2013.
Casino and resort stocks are taking the news well today. Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS) is up about 5.6%, Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NASDAQ: WYNN) is up 5.5%, and Monarch Casino and Resort Inc. (NASDAQ: MCRI) is up 5.1%. Other gainers include MGM Resorts International Inc. (NYSE: MGM), up 4.9%; Isle of Capri Casinos (NASDAQ: ISLE), up 4.3%; and Nevada Gold & Casinos (NYSEMKT: UWN), up more than 9%. Interestingly enough, neither Isle of Capri nor Nevada Gold owns or operates properties in Macau.
Revenue growth at Macau is anticipated to be in the range of 5% to 10% in 2013 because the Chinese government likes the growth there and will be encouraging it with plans to enlarge the net it casts for non-gambling revenues.