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Macau casinos see $14 billion wipeout as China tightens control

09/15/2021| 2:59:30 PM|

Revised gambling laws include more local ownership in casinos.

Macau’s top gaming stocks lost a record $14 billion in combined market value on Wednesday after officials said they would change casino regulations to tighten restrictions on operators, including appointing government representatives to “supervise” companies in the world’s biggest gaming hub. 

The Bloomberg Intelligence index of the six big casino operators fell a record 19% in trading Wednesday before slightly paring losses. American operators saw the worst selloffs, with Sands China Ltd. sinking as much as 28%, while Wynn Macau Ltd. plunged 34%, both the steepest declines ever. Galaxy Entertainment Group slumped 18%, its sharpest drop in a decade. 

Officials in the enclave, the only place in China where gambling is legal, said they would begin a 45-day public consultation period on Sept. 15 to discuss the legal revisions. Among the topics being covered: how many licenses -- known locally as “concessions” -- will be allowed, how long their terms will be, and the level of supervision by the government. 

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TAGS: gaming industry | Macau | Sands China
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