Australian gambling spending holds up, interest offshore, BoA says

    Domestic revenue generated by Australia-based casinos is generally holding up, though most of the investor interest remains focused on growth opportunities overseas, according to a Bank of America/Merrill Lynch report. The April gaming spend in Queensland rose 4.7 percent compared with a gain of 3.7 percent in March. In the second-half to date the spend is up about 4.4 percent, supporting the investment firm’s forecast for a gain of 5 percent. In New South Wales, April revenue rose 5.8 percent, from 3 percent in March. The H2 growth rate has been around 3 – 6 percent, it said. The picture in Victoria is weaker, with a decline of 0.7 percent in March compared with a 1.7 percent gain in February, with all signs pointing to the fact that the consumer spending remains soft, it said. April figures weren’t provided. In terms of individual stocks, BoA said Crown Resorts remains a buy, largely because of its exposure to Macau, while Donaco International’s new Vietnam property in Lao Cai, which opened May 18th, is showing strong momentum and is not reporting any impact from the political tensions gripping the country.