ETF Trends
ETF Trends

Casinos, along with the related exchange traded fund, are in Lady Luck’s favor as southeast Asia quickly becomes the dominant global hub for the gambling industry, with earnings expected to stay resilient in face of any hiccups in the economy.

Macau gaming stocks have jumped 76% this year, reports Shuli Ren for Barron’s.

Even with the impressive gains, J.P. Morgan believes Macau stocks still look attractive.

However, some investors are worried that the credit-driven sector is sensitive to macroeconomic turns in China. J.P. Morgan analysis, though, argue that casinos can fold “shadow VIP side betting” to official channels, supporting VIP gaming.

“Under pressure to deliver more volume, junkets/agents could find themselves negotiating with their players to move some [VIP] side bets into official channels,” Kenneth Fong and Daisy Lu, analysts for J.P. Morgan, said in the article.

The analysts also point out that side betting could be 20% to 200% the size of the official VIP market.

“We believe side betting’s substantial volume provides a buffer for junket operators in managing their rolling volume and overall business,” the analysts added.

J.P. Morgan has a “buy” rating on Sands China, a unit of Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS); MGM China, a unit of MGM Entertainment (NYSE: MGM); Wynn Macau, a unit of Wynn (NasdaqGS: WYNN); Melco-Crown (NasdaqGS: MPEL); and SJM.

The Market Vectors Gaming ETF (NYSEArca: BJK) has surged 20.1% over the past three months and is up 36.7% year-to-date. Looking at BJK’s holdings, LVS is 8.2%, WYNN is 7.2%, MPEL is 3.6% and MGM is 4.8%. [Gaming ETF Cashes In with 30% Gain]

For more information on the gambling industry, visit our gaming category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.