Talking Numbers

Forget Vegas, this is the future of gambling

Forget Vegas, this is the future of gambling

Holy Macau!

That's what casino owners are shouting as data comes in from Macau, the gambling capital of the world. The Special Administrative Region of China showed a 13% increase in gambling revenues this past March compared to last year.

For those who think Vegas is the end-all and be-all of gaming, guess again. While Las Vegas took in $6.5 billion in all of 2013, Macau bagged $4.4 billion in the month of March alone.

The bulk of Macau's money isn't coming from the type of daytrippers seen in, say, Atlantic City or Foxwoods. Between 70% and 80% of Macau's gaming revenues come from VIPs. After all, China's financial capital, Shanghai, is just two and a half hours away by plane.

One of the biggest players in Macau is Wynn Resorts. And, Macau has been very, very good to Wynn.
In 2006, Wynn's total revenues were $1.43 billion, with $1.14 billion – roughly 80% – coming from the US. Then came the financial crisis and Wynn was on the ropes. But, a push in to Macau made all the difference for the company.

In 2013, revenues from the US were $1.58 billion but Macau's revenues shot up to $4 billion, or almost 72% of the company's sales. As well the stock gained 952.5% in the last five years as the company grew its Macau business.

Wynn, in other words, is an investment on Macau. But, should investors play Macau by betting on Wynn?
However, Talking Numbers contributor Richard Ross, Global Technical Strategist at Auerbach Grayson, thinks now is the time for Wynn investors to cash in their chips.

"It's not good if you own Wynn here," says Ross. "This stock has been on quite a ride here. It's almost ironic as the Chinese stock market is moving in exactly the opposite direction over the last five years. These gambling stocks are feasting on the Chinese consumer."

Ross sees Wynn's stock as making a parabolic reversal from its all-time high of $249.31 a month ago.
"It's a rapid reversal in risk appetite," says Ross. "It tells us investors have gone from wildly bullish to now somewhat cautious. That's not good for a high beta, highflying momentum stock like Wynn."

The stock is headed towards its 100-day moving average, currently at $202 per share, $25 below where it closed on Tuesday. Things may even get worse, according to Ross.

"A break below those levels would really set the stage for an even more sinister decline," says Ross. "I would avoid it at these levels. I think its salad days are behind it."

CNBC contributor Andrew Busch, editor and publisher of The Busch Update, believes that while Ross may be right in the short-term, Wynn may have something going for it in Asia and it's not Macau.

"The game that really matters is what's going on in Japan," says Busch. "Japan is talking about legalizing gambling, especially in Tokyo."

Though the idea has been around for a dozen years, Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party submitted a bill to the Diet which would legalize gambling in the coming years. It is expected to come up for a vote in the late spring and many reports indicate that the bill's passing is a distinct possibility.

"If that happens, all of these stocks will massively benefit," says Busch. "If it's legalized, their earnings are going to see a significant positive pop to it."

To see the full discussion on Wynn with Ross on the technicals and Busch on the fundamentals, watch the video above.

Follow us on Twitter: @CNBCNumbers
Like us on Facebook: