NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire -06/07/12)- Gaming stocks after a strong start to the year have fallen sharply over the last month as concerns of a global financial crisis continue to grow. The Market Vectors Gaming ETF (BJK) -- which replicates an index consisting of publicly traded companies engaged in the global gaming industry -- has fallen nearly 15 percent in the past month. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Resorts & Casinos Industry and provides equity research on Wynn Resorts, Ltd. (WYNN) and MGM Resorts International (MGM).
In Macau, China's gambling Mecca, it was recently reported that gambling revenue in May grew just 7.3 percent, the slowest rate of expansion in nearly 3 years. Revenues totaled $3.3 billion in May, the second-highest single-month total, but was nowhere near the 70-90 percent growth rates in 2010, or the most recent 22 percent growth in April.
The recent slowdown in the Chinese economy has caused a decrease in spending by billionaire "VIP" gamblers from mainland China. "The VIP slowdown is more severe than expected but we need to wait until around the fourth quarter for an easier year on year comparison. Loosening in China will also help VIP but between now and then, hang on tight," said Gabriel Chan, an analyst at Credit Suisse in Hong Kong.
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Wynn recently announced plans to spend $4 billion on a casino resort in Macau, which was considerably higher than analysts' estimates. The new Macau resort will be Wynn's first on the Cotai strip, Macau's version of the Las Vegas strip. Las Vegas Sands currently has 3 resorts on the Cotai strip.
MGM Resorts International has two segments that are based on the regions in which it operates: wholly owned domestic resorts and MGM China. As of December 31, 2011, the Company operated 15 wholly owned resorts in the United States. The company reported that for the first quarter of 2012 consolidated net revenue increased 51 percent to $2.3 billion; excluding MGM China, net revenue increased 5 percent compared to the prior year quarter.
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