July 14, 2020

Casino shares increase as restrictions on Macau are lifted

Casino shares increase as restrictions on Macau are lifted

Shares of Wynn Resorts Ltd., Las Vegas Sands Corp., and other major casino companies went up on Monday after prospects brightened for Macau, the world’s biggest gambling hub.

Guangdong, Macau’s neighboring province, recently agreed to ease quarantine requirements for travelers returning from the area, leading the way for a revival of its weakening casino industry.

Las Vegas Sands, the biggest casino in the city, reported a 9.6% increase in shares, while Wynn increased as much as 11%. MGM Resorts International’s shares also went up by 6.8%, while Melco Resorts & Entertainment’s U.S. shares went up by 18%.

Visitors coming from outside Guangdong will still find it difficult to visit Macau, but “the overall trend is moving in the right direction,” Vitaly Umansky, analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, said.

“We expect some pent-up demand to materialize in Macau fairly rapidly as travel restrictions come down,” he added.

The agreement, which was announced on Monday, will void the 14-day quarantine requirement imposed by Guangdong in late March. This measure effectively cut off Chinese travel to the gambling capital, resulting to virtually empty baccarat and roulette tables.

The restriction will be completely lifted on July 15 at 6 a.m. local time. Despite this, travelers are still required to get a virus test before they are allowed in.

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