Vegas Baby: Ahead of Big Weekend, Gambling ETF Slides (BJK, MGM)
Shares of the Market Vectors Gaming ETF (NYSE: BJK), the lone ETF devoted exclusively to casino operators and other gambling-related names, are trading lower by 1.4% on volume that's already about 24% above the daily average ahead of what was expected to be a big weekend for sports books.
The sports schedule for Saturday June 9 has two marquee gambling events on the docket: The Belmont and Manny Pacquiao's defense of his WBO welterweight title Saturday night in Las Vegas against American Timothy Bradley.
While wagering on horse racing has been in decline for several years, the potential for the first Triple Crown winner since 1978 was thought to be a potential catalyst that bring a temporary pop in horse racing gambling revenue. Those hopes have likely been dashed as I'll Have Another, the horse that won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, has been pulled from the Belmont due to a career-threatening injury.
MGM Resorts' (NYSE: MGM) MGM Grand in Las Vegas is the site of the Pacquiao-Bradley fight and has said it expects seven figures in fight wagers to pass through its windows on fight night.
MGM Resorts is BJK's eighth-largest holding with a weight of almost 3.3%. Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS), the operator of the Palazzo and Venetian in Las Vegas, dominates BJK with a weight of 15%.
So between what looks like a disappointing Belmont and the Pacquiao fight, BJK may have a draw on its hands. BJK has struggled in recent weeks as global markets have fretted over lingering concerns regarding Europe's sovereign debt crisis, among other macroeconomic issues, but if Asian gambling destinations such as Macau and Singapore can continue to impress on the revenue front, BJK could be worth a roll of the dice in the back half of this year.
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