Gambling is akin to trading, but with much more risk of failure. Everyone knows Las Vegas as the gambling capital of the United States, but Macau is hot and growing.
Macau is designated a special administrative region of China, which means the area has the backing of the Chinese government for the purpose of casino development.
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Attracted by abundant wealth and the appetite for risk and money in China and Asia, there has been a rapid move by the major casinos to establish and expand their presence on the island of Macau, China, which is the world’s largest gambling market, known in the gambling world as the “Monte Carlo of the Orient.”
I have visited this former Portuguese colony, which is located some 38 miles from Hong Kong, and there is an obvious push to build more high-end casinos, especially those integrated with hotel, retail, and casino operations. The market is primarily the China and Asia tourist market.
Much of the newer major development is along the Cotai strip in Macau, which will add to the original gambling establishments in the city.
The Cotai strip area is bustling with people armed with money to spend, and if the expansion plans are on target, it will inevitably make Vegas seem sedate in comparison.
In March, gross revenues in the Macau casino sector came in around $3.9 billion, up 25.4% year-over-year. (Source: Garlitos, K., “SLM Holdings Continue to Hold Top Revenue Spot in Macau,” CalvinAyre.com, April 3, 2013, last accessed May 9, 2013.)
The prospects for Macau, China are enormous; I’m betting on that, and so are some of the world’s largest casino operators.
Two of the major players expanding their presence in Macau are Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE/LVS) and China-based Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited (OTC/GXYEY).
In the first quarter, Las Vegas Sands attributed its strong growth in part to its expansion in Macau, where the company’s four Cotai strip properties attracted a record 14 million visitors. The company is a major player on the Cotai strip, which is attracting even more major players. The company’s subsidiary Sands China Ltd. reported a 39.3% year-over-year jump in net revenues to $2.0 billion in the first quarter, while earnings surged 63.3% year-over-year.
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But the company that I feel has excellent prospects is Galaxy Entertainment because of the fact that it’s an Asian-based company. The company is on an aggressive expansion path. Currently, it has two core properties—Galaxy Macau and StarWorld Hotel and Casino.
Galaxy Entertainment’s expansion plans are aggressive. The current development includes doubling the size of Galaxy Macau by the middle of 2015, and there are plans to launch Phase 3 and 4 at Galaxy Macau, to be completed between 2016 and 2018.
Two smaller casino players in the Macau China casino scene are Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ/WYNN) and MGM Resorts International (NYSE/MGM).