Macau Casino Gauge Jumps 12% as Gaming Bill Eases Concerns

Shares of Macau casino operators surged after the city announced changes to its gaming law that was less harsh than investors had feared, removing regulatory uncertainty for the sector.

A Bloomberg Intelligence gauge of casino shares jumped as much as 12% in early Monday trading, the most since July 2015. Wynn Macau Ltd., Sands China Ltd. and Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. rallied by at least 10%.

The move follows earlier gains in U.S.-listed casino stocks on Friday, with Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Melco Resorts & Entertainment Ltd. jumping more than 14%.

Macau unveiled plans late Friday to give a maximum of six casino licenses for terms up to 13 years, while limiting the public float of gambling operators.

The casino index lost 47% last year amid investors fears that the upcoming legal changes may further tighten the government’s grip on the world’s largest gaming hub. Analysts saw the new rules as less onerous and supportive of the sector’s valuation.

Author: John Cheng, Bloomberg

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