News - August 14, 2020 - by Ray Hagar
Stock prices for Wynn Resorts recorded big jumps this week and the good fortune of the Las Vegas gaming giant is based on the reopening of the Macau market, a member of the Wynn board of directors said Thursday on Nevada Newsmakers.
"It is largely a function of Macau beginning to open up," Pat Mulroy told host Sam Shad. "Because all of the US companies over in Macau are reliant on that Macau revenue. So for us, it is a large portion of our revenues and profits. So yes, opening up Macau makes all the difference in the world."
The Chinese government announced this week that it would resume granting tourist visas to Macau. Macau’s gambling revenues have tanked in the past four months due to the ban of tourism, according to Morgan Stanley, Bloomberg reports.
Wynn stock jumped from $74 a share on Aug. 7 to more than $88 on Aug 11 and was trading at $86 on Thursday. On Tuesday, it jumped 9.7 percent.
Wynn's response to the COVID pandemic in Macau is another key reason for the companies recent success, said Mulroy, a senior fellow at Brookings Mountain West, faculty member at the Desert Research Institute and the former CEO of the Southern Nevada Water Authority.
"There were any of a number of lessons we learned in Macau," Mulroy said.
"One of the things we all learned in Macau was to go after containing the virus early and do it aggressively," Mulroy added. "So we were one of the first to close our doors and say, 'Nope, we are going to be part of solution and not a part of the problem.
Lessons learned in Macau can be transferred to Las Vegas, Mulroy said.
"We know, we are very good now at shutting properties down ... By the time you clear all the chips out of the cage and account for all the chips, deposit all the money and have it all verified by the gaming authorities, and then you have to open up again, restock and do everything all over, it is quite an intricate process and Macau taught us how to do it efficiently and do it in pretty short order."
Mulroy also said on Nevada Newsmakers that there was a direct link between pandemics and climate change. Mulroy was considered a leading expert on climate change while leading SNWA.
"Look, one of the affects of climate change is pandemics," she said. "We have know that all along. I think we are going to see -- as a globe -- we are going to see more pandemics."
Government leaders must learn lessons from the COVID outbreak to better deal with pandemics in the future, Mulroy said.
"This is like a great lesson for us: How do we handle pandemics? We should look in the rear-view mirror as we are coming out of this pandemic, once we have a vaccine in place and say, 'What did we do well? What did we not do well? How can we improve what we are doing?
"I think those lessons are going to be all important, not just for the gaming industry, not just for Las Vegas not just for Nevada but I think everyone around the world," she said.
"We can't go through this cyclical shut-the-economy-down, bring it back," she said. "It won't work. So how do we smooth this around the edges? How do we find a 21st-centruy way of dealing with pandemics that we will see again? And most scientists in the climate space are saying they are going to happen more frequently."
Climate change has been linked to possible pandemics in studies by Harvard University and the United Nations.
"Look, there is nothing pleasant about climate change," Mulroy said. "I don't care if it is drought; I don't care if it flood; I don't care if it is a pandemic. I mean it is a massive transformation in how we view the world, how we live and how we manage within our economic structures. This is going to redefine, how, as a civilization, we exist on this planet."