Gaming ETF Hits Jackpot as Macau Returns to Growth

The gaming exchange traded fund rallied Thursday as Macau casinos revealed their first positive monthly year-over-year growth since 2014.

The VanEck Vectors Gaming ETF (NYSEArca: BJK) rose 2.9% Thursday after slipping 3.1% over the past week. BJK gained 7.1% year-to-date.

SEE MORE: Is it too Late to Roll the Dice on the Casino ETF?

Macau, the only region in China where casino gambling is legal, showed a 1.1% increase in revenue over August, its first positive month-over-month gain in 26 months, reports Berkeley Lovelace Jr. for CNBC.

According to Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, gambling revenue was $2.4 billion.


Shares of Wynn Resorts (NasdaqGS: WYNN) advanced 5.3% and Las Vegas Sands Corp (NYSE: LVS) jumped 6.6% on Thursday.

The VanEck Vectors Gaming ETF includes a hefty 8.5% tilt toward LVS and 2.2% to WYNN, along with 7.9% Sands China Ltd 1.4% Wynn Macau Ltd.

Since hitting record high growth in early 2014, Macau has steadily seen profits dwindle after the Chinese government began cracking down on corruption, which deterred many high-rollers.

SEE MORE: Slowdown in Macau Cripples Gaming ETF

Moreover, Macau has since banned phone betting and expanded smoking bans in casinos, writes Wayne Duggan for InvestorPlace. Resorts have been pushing up against the government when trying to to expand table games.

However, not everyone believed Macau’s luck was turning

“We remain on the sidelines of the Macau gaming names [Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts and Melco Crown] as estimates and valuations adjust to a ‘new normal’ of a weak Chinese economy and a recovery that is likely to be flatter than prior rebounds, contributing to more muted revenue growth in Macau,” according to analysts at Wells Fargo, the Financial Times reports.

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VanEck Vectors Gaming ETF