- Summary: Four years after winning a license to operate a casino in Macau, Steve Wynn (WYNN) opened his splashy $1.2 billion Wynn Macau yesterday. Wynn's archrival Sheldon Adelson of the Las Vegas Sands (LVS) won a license at the same time as Wynn, and opened the Sands Macao two years ago, claiming first mover advantage. Macau is the only region in China where gambling is legal, and it has evolved into a formidable industry. Last year it generated $5.6 billion in casino-gambling revenues, beating out Atlantic City and coming close to Las Vegas' $6 billion turnover. The bulk of this revenue originates from locally owned casinos, but Wynn and Adelson aim to draw the big spenders into the market. The two are extending their rivalry beyond Macau's city center to Cotai Strip, where both are developing new casinos: Adelson is building a Venetian Macao (lagoon, gondoliers, and all), and Wynn has plans for two to three casinos on a 54-acre parcel on Cotai. As with Macau city, Wynn is waiting to see how Adelson fares before breaking ground.
- Comment on related stocks/ETFs: The LVS conference call transcripts contain detailed information about the company's Macau plans. David Reidel asks if there is oversupply in Macau, and Bear Stearns upgraded WYNN last quarter. Marc Gerstein looks at opportunities in gaming stocks resulting from the new build-out of casinos.
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