The Massachusetts Gaming Commission plans to award a casino license in Massachusetts in September as it brushes aside concerns voters will decide in a November referendum to repeal a state law allowing casinos.
Wynn Resorts (WYNN +0.6%) and Mohegan Sun are battling for license in the Boston area, while MGM Resorts (MGM +1.4%) has already been granted a license for a complex in Springfield.
The political backdrop in the state is clouding the casino scene with both the state AG and the mayor of Boston letting their opinions be known.
In other news, Las Vegas Strip win revenue of $592.9M in May rose 17.3% Y/Y according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The state's nonrestricted gaming licensees reported total gaming win of $970M in May, up 8.1% from a year ago.
Secretary for the Economy and Finance Francis Tam says the government has not asked jewelry or watch retailers accepting UnionPay cards to cease operations or move out of casinos.
Sterne Agee analyst David Bain's top pick remains Melco Crown (MPEL +4.7%) thanks to its low valuation and catalysts like the opening of the only major casino in Asia this year (City of Dreams in Manila), likely Japanese gaming expansion approval, the opening of Macau's next new casino-resort next year, the best-located casino in Cotai, and longer-term potential for increased dividends and buybacks.
Bain also notes a positive shift in sentiment for Macau names of late.
Also on the move: Wynn Resorts (WYNN +2.8%), Las Vegas Sands (LVS +2.6%), MGM Resorts (MGM +2.8%).