Las Vegas Sands (LVS) shares lead US casino operators sharply higher Monday after officials in the city of Macau, the world’s largest gaming hub, agreed to allow tour groups from mainland China for the first time in nearly three years.
Macau, a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, said group visits – heavily restricted by during both the 2020 pandemic and its resurgence this year – will begin again in November.
Visitors from five provinces — Guangdong, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Fujian — will no longer need to go through a complicated e-visa process to visit Macau, the only city under Beijing’s control that allows legalized gambling, under terms of the first phase of its new regulations.
Macau’s gaming market generated around $37 billion in annual revenues prior to the pandemic, around five times more than the collective take of the Las Vegas strip. Wynn Resorts (WINE) generates around 70% of its overall revenues from Macau, while Las Vegas Sands collects around 62%.
Las Vegas Sands shares were marked 7.1% higher in pre-market trading to indicate an opening bell price of $37.98 each, a move that would trim the stock’s year-to-date decline to around 2%. Wynn Resorts meanwhile, rose 5.1% to $62.69 each.
MGM Resorts International (MGM) shares were marked 1.6% higher at $30.53 each, a move that still leaves the casino and hotels group with a year-to-date decline of around 32%.