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Macao casino stocks nose-dive on looming government crackdown

Shorter licensing terms and increased oversight proposals lead to sell-off

The Venetian Macao hotel and casino: Macao is the only enclave in greater China where gambling is legal.    © Reuters

HONG KONG -- Casino operators in Macao suffered a collective wipeout of billions of dollars in the stock market Wednesday after draft rules to tighten oversight on the industry were announced a day earlier.

The biggest loser was Wynn Macau, which tumbled as much as 34% during trading in Hong Kong but ended the day down 29%. Sands China slumped 33% at one point as well, recovering just slightly before the closing bell. MGM China Holdings and SJM Holdings closed 26.8% and 24% lower, respectively.

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