Macau casino shares drop on below consensus May GGR

    Casino shares in both Hong Kong and the U.S. fell sharply on Tuesday after below consensus gross gambling growth in Macau in May.
    According to government figures GGR rose 9.3 percent in the month to MOP32.35 billion ($4.1 billion), the slowest rate in four months. The growth was lower than the 14.5 percent consensus estimate, according to Bloomberg.
    Melco Crown Entertainment ADRs were down more than 5 percent in afternoon trading, while Las Vegas Sands shed 3 percent and Wynn Resorts was off more than 4 percent.
    In Hong Kong, Wynn Macau ended the Tuesday session down 1.5 percent, Galaxy Entertainment shed 3 percent, SJM Holdings was down 3 percent, Sands China fell 1.5 percent and MGM China Holdings slipped 0.7 percent.
    The slowdown in GGR growth, which was the weakest since January this year, added to recent concerns about a potential clampdown on illegal money transfers and credit, as well as scandals involving the junket operators that bring in VIPs from China.
    Some analysts suggested the the crackdown may have slowed growth in the mass premium section, which had been the fastest growing sector of the market.
    Despite the softness in May, analysts remain bullish on the prospect for Macau over the long term.
    In a recent report, Goldman Sachs said it expects Asia’s $63 billion casino market to double to $110 billion by 2018, with Macau remaining the region’s top pick.