Macau Junket Crackdown was Over a Week Ago and Is NOT Impacting Revenue - Analyst (LVS) (MGM) (WYNN) (MPEL)

December 4, 2012 12:28 PM EST
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Sterne Agee analyst David Bain commented on reports from the WSJ indicating 3 large junket operators had been detained in Mainland China on potential money laundering. Bains said checks suggest contact with Mainland Chinese authorities took place over a week ago. To date, it has not impacted Macau revenue, evidenced by the last week of November’s GGR result, he said.

Bain comments on the situation:
"According to contacts, over one week ago, Neptune, Sun City and David Star were questioned by authorities in the Mainland (not Macau police). We are told questions related to an investigation of an individual or business outside of Macau. Our contact suggests that this is not the first time authorities in Mainland China have questioned junket operators as part of an investigation outside of Macau - it happens “from time to time.” We do believe that some arrests were made within one junket operator group related to Internet wagering in Mainland China – however, its VIP division has been unaffected to date.

Our takeaway is that there is not too much new at this point – this happened over a week ago and Macau GGR maintained its pace. The investigation is related to a person or entity in the mainland, not specifically to business practices in Macau. While there is risk associated with investigations of this manner, at this point, we do not see evidence of a fundamental shift from our Macau bull thesis."

Related stocks: Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS), MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM), Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NASDAQ: WYNN), Melco Crown (NASDAQ: MPEL).

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