April 3, 2011

Macau Casino

Macau is on Top of the Gambling World.

Gambling dollars flowing into Macau casinos are nothing new, but this year’s action shocked the most Bullish followers of gaming stocks.

This year, we here at LTN are upping our forecast of Macau’s “take” to 30% growth over last year, and perhaps as the year unfolds we will up-grade that number again.

In March, Macau casinos took in more than 20B Macanese Patacas, or US$2.5B. That is the 1st time the gambling capital passed that mark, and it is a rise of 48% over last year.

January gaming grew 33.2%, and February rose 47.7%, indicting the momentum is getting stronger.

The news has sent Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) and Wynn Resorts (Nasdaq:WYNN) higher Friday by 4% and 6%, respectively. But the only pure Macau play, Melco Crown (Nasdaq:MPEL), is only just even with the gains of MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM), which only has a small presence in Macau.

The gaming comparisons in Macau get tougher as the year goes on, but gaming “take” for March was already 6.4% higher than Y 2010’s best month.

This is good news for at least one gaming company that’s had a choppy ride lately. Las Vegas Sands players shrugged off the Company’s legal troubles after CEO and major shareholder Sheldon Adelson said, “When the smoke clears, I am 1,000% positive that there will not be any fire below it.”

Mr. Adelson words did ease a bit of concern for the market and LVS’ shareholders.

Considering the growth that Macau has show us year after year, I see no reason to change our POV, and remain Bullish on casino operators there.

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