U.S. Markets closed

Sector Snap: Casino stocks rise on Macau report

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Shares of casino companies surged on Monday, getting a lift from a report showing gambling revenue in Macau posted a sharp annual gain in June.

The Asian gambling enclave, an hour from Hong Kong by high-speed hydrofoil ferry, is a key market for casino operators such as Las Vegas Sands Corp., Wynn Resorts Ltd. and MGM Resorts International, which are investing heavily in new casino resorts.

A report published Monday on the website for the Macau's Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau shows monthly gross gambling revenue grew 21.1 percent in June from a year earlier.

The June gain was the biggest annual increase since March, when revenue leapt 25.4 percent versus the same month last year.

The revenue gain comes at a time of deepening uncertainty over a slowdown in China's growth and a credit crunch as Beijing moves to tighten lending standards in a bid to crack down on the high amount of leverage in the economy.

But investors appeared to take some measure of encouragement from June's gambling revenue growth in Macau.

Shares of MGM Resorts rose 39 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $15.17 in afternoon trading, while Las Vegas Sands gained 28 cents to $53.21.

Wynn Resorts rose $1.49, or 1.2 percent, to $129.46, while shares in Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd., added 69 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $23.05 in afternoon trading.