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Gaming ETF Continues to be a Winning Bet


It may not be getting a lot of attention, but the Market Vectors Gaming ETF (BJK) is on fire. Due to its heavy international exposure, the U.S. is a mere 30.6 percent of the fund’s country weight, BJK was subject to a tapering talk tumble. The lone gambling ETF lost nearly 14% from late May through late June.

In early June, we noted stellar performances this year by many of the major names in global gambling this year have the group trading at valuations that some perceive as frothy. Those lofty valuations and tapering chatter plagued BJK, but the downturn has proven to be temporary and a buying opportunity. [Gaming ETF: Time to Take Chips off the Table]

Not only has BJK recovered all of its tapering-induced May/June loss, the fund has rallied to a new all-time high. In just the past two months, BJK has soared 15%, more than seven times the gains offered by the S&P 500 over the same time. Seasonal factors could be at play. Macau, the world’s largest gambling hub, has shown impressive revenue growth, but the summer traditionally represents a lull in revenue for the Chinese territory. [Luck be a Lady: Gaming ETF's 20% Rally]

More upside could be on the way for BJK if industry analysts are correct in their assessment of some of the ETF’s holdings. On Wednesday, Citigroup raised its gross gaming revenue estimates on Macau for this year and 2014 to $44 billion and $51 billion, respectively. The bank also sounded a bullish tone on Melco Crown (MPEL) and Sands China. Sands China is BJK’s largest holding at 8.8%. Melco Crown is the ETF’s eighth-largest holding at nearly 3.4%.

UBS believes that if Las Vegas Sands (LVS), parent company of Sands China, can effectively shift away from focusing on VIP gamblers and bolster its mass market appeal, there is upside in the shares. “We expect LVS to capture 42% and 39% of any incremental mass growth in Macau in 2014 and 2015, respectively. We believe LVS is best positioned to capture upside from under-yielding assets as the company has a large inventory of hotel rooms that could capture a large part of mass growth in both 2014 and 2015,” said UBS. 

The banks said Las Vegas Sands could trade up to $68 if it is effective in boosting its mass market appeal in Macau. Shares of Las Vegas Sands closed at $63.48 Wednesday. The stock is BJK’s largest U.S.-based holding with an allocation of 8.4%.

Market Vectors Gaming ETF

ETF Trends editorial team contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.