Top casino operators watched their stocks tumble on Wednesday, as growth numbers from casinos in Macau failed to meet expectations. Wynn (-9.9%), Sands (-11.8%), and MGM Mirage (-3.4%) all ended significantly down, as according to local press reports, gambling revenue was up only 55%, putting it in a year-to-date pace of 47%. "We view the 55% gaming revenue growth in Macau as disappointing in relation to recently elevated expectations [of 75% or more] and certainly some of the momentum (justifiably so) is coming out of the Macau-centric stocks," said Joe Greff of Bears Stearns. Macau, which is the only place in China gambling is legal, has already passed Las Vegas as the world's largest casino market. Wynn and Sands are expected to get a larger part of their revenue from Macau than MGM, who dominates the Vegas strip, owns the Borgata in Atlantic City, and built some casinos in the south. Though the news was disappointing, one money manager who invests heavily in the casino space called today's action"a much-needed breather. Expectations got way up there too fast." October will be a key month for Macau as well, China has its "National Golden Week," which should give plenty of gamblers time to vacation in the region and try their luck.
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