Who Needs Wall Street? Gambling Companies Bet on Hong Kong Stock Market

 Casino companies are betting on Hong Kong's equity markets to raise funds for expansion. Photo: Grand Emperor Hotel Macau

Casino companies are betting on Hong Kong’s equity markets to raise funds for expansion. Photo: Grand Emperor Hotel Macau

Gambling Firms Aim to Raise Funds for Macau, Overseas Casino Operations

HONG KONG— For WSJKate O’Keeffe & Yvonne Lee report: China’s international financial hub, located a quick ferry ride from the world’s casino capital, has seen a throng of gambling companies rush to its equity markets over the past year.macau-chip-vintage

“The Asia gaming industry should be one of the fastest-growing sectors in the next decade.”

— CLSA analyst Aaron Fischer

Since July 2013, at least six casino and VIP gambling companies have unveiled plans to list in Hong Kong, often through so-called backdoor listings. These companies are either hoping to raise funds to expand abroad or to bolster business at home in Macau at a time when the enclave’s $45 billion gambling market is suffering its first revenue declines in five years.

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Most recently, Nasdaq-listed Iao Kun Group Holdings Co. last month filed a formal listing application to go public “by introduction,” where no new funds are raised, hiring Rothschild (Hong Kong) Ltd. as its sponsor. The company is part of Macau’s junket industry, which brings high-spending gamblers from mainland China to Macau, issues them credit and collects players’ debts in exchange for commissions from casinos. Read the rest of this entry »