Macau ATM Move Weighs Heavily on Casino Stocks

Casino stocks have taken a battering this week, after the Monetary Authority of Macau announced that starting Saturday daily withdrawals from China UnionPay bank cash machines would be halved to just 5,000 patacas ($626). This will have a major impact on the island’s gambling sector as around 50% of all Chinese visitors to Macau use UnionPay ATM.
Casino stocks subsequently were severley impacted by the development, with Sands China down 10.13%, Galaxy Entertainment Group down 9.69%, Wynn Macau down 9.93%, and SJM Holdings down 5.59%.
Spurring the regulatory institution to take such drastic measures was the fact that around 10 billion patacas ($1.25 billion) was withdrawn from China UnionPay ATM machines in just one month in the country’s only legal gambling resort. The situation has been compounded by the actions of illicit money movers as they try to circumvent the 100,000 yuan (HK$112,600) annual cap on UnionPay cardholders imposed at the beginning of 2016, and as a source told the South China Morning Post:
“What has happened is that individuals are turning up at ATM machines with stacks of cards from individual account holders and are withdrawing 10,000 [patacas] at a time. The authorities have decided it is time to act, and Beijing is backing the move.”
China sees tighter capital controls as essential in combatting a depreciation of its national currency, with the yuan’s falling value subsequently leading to an outflow of money out of the country and a depletion of its foreign exchange reserves. In fact, capital outlfow reached $80 billion in November, up from $75 billion in the previous month, and China’s gross reserves have now fallen to $3.05 trillion, down from their 2014 peak of $4 trillion. Meanwhile, net reserves are down to just $1.7 trillion, according to the latest information released by hedge fund Kynikos Associates.
While China has introduced a number of capital controls in the past, this is the first time that they have been used to directly target Macau.

Poker News
Mississippi Casinos Post Record Revenue in April as Sports Betting Beckons
04 Jun 2018
Mississippi’s casinos generated gross gaming revenue of $184 million in April, or 5% more compared to the same month in 2017. Furthermore, that total represents an all-time high for the state, and is 1.3% more than the previous record set in 2007 when thousands of volunteers entered Mississippi to assist in cleanup efforts post-Hurricane Katrina.
Switzerland Prepares For June 10th Legalized iGambling Referendum
04 Jun 2018
On June 10th, Switzerland will hold a national referendum to decide whether the ‘Money Gaming Act’ passed by the Swiss Parliament in September 2017 can be implemented next year in its present form. The piece of legislation paves the way for land-based casinos and local partners to offer legalized online gambling in Switzerland, although a
MGM Resorts International Buys NY's Empire City Casino for $850 Million
02 Jun 2018
Real estate and entertainment conglomerate MGM Resorts International has revealed that it’s embarking on a purchase of Empire City Casino, a slots and pari-mutuel wagering venue located in Yonkers, N.Y., just a few miles north of Manhattan. The deal was announced May 29 in a press release, and is expected to be completed near the
Delaware to Launch Full-Scale Sports Betting on June 5th
02 Jun 2018
Last month’s decision by the US Supreme Court to overturn the sports betting ban in the country has opened the floodgates for individual states to legalize and regulate sports wagering within their borders. Before its decision was even made, though, a number of states had already put in place the necessary legislation in order to