NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 01/03/13 -- Shares of major casino stocks surged this week after a report from Macau regulators showed casino revenues in the Chinese gambling mecca hit a new record in December. The Market Vectors Gaming ETF (BJK) started the year with a 3.5 percent gain on Wednesday. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Resorts & Casinos Industry and provides equity research on Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. (NASDAQ: MPEL) and MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM).
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Macau's Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau reported that gambling revenue in Macau grew by 20 percent to a record of 28.2 billion patacas ($3.5 billion) in December, topping the previous record of 27.7 billion patacas which was set in October. For full year 2012, gambling revenues gained 13.5 percent to total 304 billion patacas ($38 billion), which was also a record.
"This is definitely better than our expectation, and much higher than the street estimates," said Kim Eng Securities HK Ltd. analysts, Jeremy Tan, "It's a combination of higher holiday footfall, higher win-rate, and a return to VIP market," he said.
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Melco Crown Entertainment is an owner and developer of casino gaming and entertainment resort facilities that are focused on the rapidly expanding gaming market found in Macau. The company has also successfully completed the acquisition of a 60% interest in the Studio City project on Cotai. Shares of Melco have gained over 80 percent in the past year.
MGM Resorts International holds a 51% interest in MGM China Holdings Limited, which owns the MGM Macau resort and casino. MGM China earned net revenue of $665 million, a 7 percent increase over the prior year quarter, which was largely driven by a 37 percent increase in slots revenue. Shares of the company have gained over 17.5 percent in the past year.
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