NEW YORK (
) -- Casino stocks are taking a hit after Macau government said it will tighten its control on the gaming sector.
The Xinhua News Agency reported that Macau Chief Executive Fernando Chui said the city will place a firmer grip on the number of new casinos, table games and slot machines in the Chinese gaming enclave. The government will also boost its supervision of casinos and its financial records, as well as restrict land development.
The news is putting pressure on the entire sector, as Macau has been one of the only source of growth within gaming.
Las Vegas Sands
, in particular, have heavily relied on the region for profit.
In the third quarter, Wynn Macau reported a 50% surge in revenue to $671.4 million while EBITDA was $198.0 million, up 54.5% from $128.2 million in the third quarter of 2009. At the time, the company said it expects to break ground on a new Cotai development in early 2011.
Sands China saw revenue climb 28% to $1.08 billion and adjusted EBITDA gained 43%.
Shares of Wynn are falling 2.7% to $108.77 in afternoon trading, while Las Vegas Sands is losing 5.3% to $46.52.
is also tumbling 6.1% to $12.14. While the casino operator is best known for its massive Las Vegas Strip casinos, the company is currently seeking approval from the Hong Kong exchange for an initial public offering of its Macau assets.
Melco Crown Entertainment
is also trading lower, down 4.7% to $6.06. The casino operator swung to a surprise profit in its third-quarter, receiving a boost from its City of Dreams property.
is another notable decliner, which is plunging 7.4% to $8.49 in afternoon trading.
--Written by Jeanine Poggi in New York.
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