The public’s pent-up demand for travel and a potential for better US-China relations point to a “huge year” for casino stocks in 2021, according to CNBC’s Jim Cramer.
The television host said once enough people are vaccinated, “The economy goes back to normal, travel resumes, and people start gambling in-person again.”
That’s why the casinos should have a huge year in 2021,” Cramer said. He added, “Vegas, here we come.”
Cramer is an economic analyst on CNBC and hosts a stock-investing show, Mad Money, on the financial news network. Cramer said casinos have had “absolutely terrible numbers lately.”
As an example, Las Vegas Sands lost 76 percent of its business in the first nine months of 2020, he said. Among the company’s holdings are the Venetian and Palazzo on the Las Vegas Strip, and the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. He noted these resorts rely “heavily on travel and tourism spending.”
Negative financial numbers are expected to turn around as travel picks up. “The pent-up demand is absolutely enormous,” Cramer said.
Health professionals this week began administering the first vaccinations nationwide. Widespread vaccinations are months away, according to health experts.
Opportunities in China
President-elect Joe Biden’s swearing-in next month should give investors optimism about casino companies operating in China, Cramer said.
The CNBC host said Biden is expected to be more diplomatic toward China than President Donald Trump has been. A diplomatic tone will be less likely to spook investors, he said.
Cramer said he thought Trump’s “trade war with China was the right move.” However, “Wall Street hated the trade war every step of the way, so money managers are giddy that Biden’s going to lower the temperature,” he said.
“Americans are ready to gamble again, and perhaps more important, Biden will have a very different attitude toward China,” Cramer said.
Sports Betting Goes Mainstream
Cramer also has expressed optimism about opportunities for the companies involved in sports betting. In November, Cramer said on Mad Money that sports betting is “taking the country by storm.”
He made this remark after voters approved legal sports wagering in the three states that had it on the Election Day ballot. These states are Louisiana, Maryland, and South Dakota.
Cramer noted sports betting is spreading because states want the tax revenue that comes from legalization. “Right now, it’s going to bookies,” he said.
Legal sports betting is taking place in 19 states and the District of Columbia, according to the American Gaming Association website. Sports betting has been approved in six other states but is not yet up and running.
“Sports betting has gone mainstream,” Cramer said.
The voting results in November were a “huge victory” for the industry, with “market-moving implications,” he said. DraftKings, Penn National Gaming, and MGM Resorts are in a position to benefit from the recent spread of sports betting, Cramer said.