Shares of U.S.-listed casinos with operations in Macau were climbing Wednesday after the People's Bank of China said it will raise the remittance limit on individuals’ transfer of money from Macau to mainland Chinese accounts to 80,000 yuan per day, or roughly $11,424, from 50,000 yuan..
Macau, the world’s largest gambling hub, is an autonomous region on the south coast of China, across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong. In November, gaming revenue from the region declined 8.5% from a year ago.
Last month, Wynn Resorts reported that third-quarter profit at its Macau unit had halved year on year, on a weaker VIP gambling market. Las Vegas Sands reported $9.8 billion in casino revenue for 2018, with 69% of that total coming from Macau.
Since 2016, casino revenue from Macau has been the major contributor to Las Vegas Sands' top-line growth.
The announcement came as Chinese President Xi Jinping began a three-day visit to the territory to celebrate its 20th anniversary of return from Portuguese rule. Reuters reported that he is expected to announce economic perks as a reward for its stability and loyalty as protests rock nearby Hong Kong.
“We will join hands to draw the blueprint for Macau’s future development,” Xi said after arriving at Macau’s airport, according to China’s official Xinhua news agency.
Among the measures Xi is expected to unveil are plans to develop it into a financial center, including a new yuan-denominated stock exchange, Reuters reported.
The South China Morning Post said the gambling hub has been in an unprecedented lockdown ahead Xi's visit, with travelers and residents facing stringent security checks when traveling to the city by ferry or through the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge.