MGM Wins Approval for New Macau Casino

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The Hong Kong-based subsidiary of MGM Resorts International Inc. (NYSE: MGM) has received approval from the government of Macau to build a second casino and hotel on the Chinese-controlled island’s Cotai Strip. MGM expects to spend $2.5 billion on a 1,600-room hotel, gambling area and retail and entertainment space at the location.

MGM posted a larger-than-expected loss in the previous quarter and is expected to post another loss in its fourth quarter. The second casino, which still needs a permit before construction begins, will not be completed for about three years once construction starts.

Competitors Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS), Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NASDAQ: WYNN) and Monarch Casino and Resort Inc. (NASDAQ: MCRI), along with MGM, got a share price boost last week on reports that Macau revenues totaled $35 billion last year, a rise of about 14% from 2011. Macau’s revenues are expected to rise 5% to 10% this year following new restrictions by the Chinese government. In 2010, Macau’s casino revenues leaped 42% from the previous year. Those days are long gone it seems.