UPDATE 1-Macau gambling revenue hits record in October

* Oct gambling revenue up 50 pct y/y to $2.37 bln

* May revise full-year estimate – CLSA
(Adds details, analyst quote)

By Sui-Lee Wee

HONG KONG, Nov 1 (BestGrowthStock) – Macau’s casino revenues rose
nearly 50 percent to a record high of 18.869 billion patacas
($2.37 billion) in October from a year earlier, putting it on
track to beat full-year expectations.

For the past few years, strong double-digit casino revenue
growth in tiny Macau, the world’s largest gambling market, has
boosted the earnings of the enclave’s casino operators
including Las Vegas Sands (LVS.N: ) and Galaxy Entertainment
Group (0027.HK: ), which reported strong earnings last week.

Aaron Fischer, CLSA’s head of Asian gaming research, said
casino stocks such as Melco Crown (MPEL.O: ), Sands China
(1928.HK: ) and Wynn Macau (1128.HK: ) would soar on the news.

He said he could revise up his full-year revenue estimate,
based on the October number, which beat the previous record
17.1 billion patacas set in May, according to data from Macau’s
Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau on Monday.

“There’s a general level of optimism in China that’s
translated into an appetite for gaming,” Fischer said ,adding
that this was due in part to the strong property and equity
markets.

“At the same time, the individual operators are more
willing to extend credit, so people are more willing to play.”

October is also a seasonally strong month because of the
Golden Week holiday — a typically high travel period for the
mainland Chinese gamblers, who flock to Macau because it is the
only place in China where casino gambling is legal.

Casinos and junket operators — middlemen who bring wealthy
clients to Macau’s gambling halls — are offering better credit
terms to attract high-rollers, who make up two-thirds of
Macau’s market.

Fischer had expected gambling revenue in Macau to rise 39
percent this year from a year earlier.

Macau’s six casino operators include U.S. giants Sands and
Wynn Resorts (WYNN.O: ), along with home-grown players Galaxy and
SJM Holdings (0880.HK: ) and joint ventures Melco Crown and a
casino jointly operated by MGM Mirage (MGM.N: ).
(Editing by Kim Coghill))

UPDATE 1-Macau gambling revenue hits record in October