Market Insider

Casino stocks rise after Macau gaming sales hit 2-year high

Philippe Lopez | AFP | Getty Images

Casino stocks rose Wednesday after a report showed Macau's gambling revenue rose for a seventh month and hit a two-year high in February.

Las Vegas Sands climbed 3.8 percent, while shares of Wynn Resorts rose more than 6.5 percent, and MGM Resorts was up about 2 percent. The VanEck Vectors Gaming ETF, which includes these three companies, closed 1.7 percent higher.

Government figures showed February gaming sales in Macau of 23 billion patacas, or $2.9 billion, up from 19.5 billion patacas, or $2.4 billion, one year ago. This was a new high for the industry, not seen since January 2015, according to the report.

Casino stocks have come under pressure in the last few years, following a crackdown on the gaming industry in China that began in 2014.

MGM, LVS and WYNN 5-year performance

Source: FactSet

The casino industry has been under heavy scrutiny since Chinese President Xi Jinping made it a focus of his anti-corruption campaign.

Another risk to casino stocks globally has stemmed from further tightening of China's capital outflows. Earlier in December, Beijing reduced the amount of cash China UnionPay bank card holders can withdraw from ATM machines in Macau.

— CNBC's Aza Wee Sile contributed to this report.