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Casino shares soar as China eases Macau visas

21/9/2009
The Chinese government have eased the restrictions they placed on their citizens from the Guangdong province to travelling to the island of Macau, this has sent the stocks of the casinos rocketing last week and the industry experts gambling that October will be a record month for earnings in the world’s fastest growing gambling market.

While the Hang Seng index fell 0.7 percent at the time of closing, but the stock of the casino holding companies were on the rise. The Galaxy Entertainment Group and the Melco Crown Entertainment, both was up at the end of the days trading and was the biggest climbers of the 3, they both increased around 9 percent. SJM Holdings had the smallest increase of the lot but still up more than 6 percent.

The restriction was imposed by the Chinese government last year, limiting residents to only two trips a year to the former Portuguese colony. This was due to fears that some Guangdong residents were gambling a little too much, but mostly to stop the spread of stories that government officials gambling away millions of government funds illegally.

As the "National Day Golden Week" approaches, it will be a high travel season for the Chinese as they will have a week’s national holiday. And due to the relaxed visa rules Macau's six casino operators could see a record month in casino revenues.
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