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LAS VEGAS-Wynn Resorts Ltd. said Monday it priced initial public offering of its China gaming operation on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and expanded the offering to 25% of the company from the 20% initially planned. The casino operator will sell 1.25 billion shares (25%) of Wynn Macau Ltd. on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. They will sell for not less than US$1.10 and not less than US$1.30 apiece, according a Monday filing with the SEC.

The increased offering, which will generate between $1.37 billion and $1.62 billion, up from $1 billion, is in response to interest from investors. The shares are expected to begin trading in early October. The proceeds will be used in part to continue developing its properties in Macau.

Macau, a special administrative region of China, is the only place in the county where gambling is legal. Wynn Macau Ltd. operates the luxury 600-room Wynn Macau, is under construction for the 400-suite Encore that will sit next door and is in the planning stage for a 52-acre development in the Cotai area of Macau, aka the Cotai Strip.

Also Monday, Reuters reported that the Chinese government quietly eased restrictions on travel to Macau from neighboring Guangdong province that began last year in response to concerns that residents there were gambling too much. The value of several gaming stocks with exposure to Macau is rising today with hope that the easing restrictions will help offset the negative effects of the worldwide recession. Through the first half of 2009 Wynn generated $859 million in revenue, down 16.5% from more than $1 billion in the same 2008 period; EBITDA fell approximately 18.6% to $232 million in the first half of 2009 from approximately $285 million in the first half of 2008.

Shares of Wynn Resorts Ltd. on Monday were holding steady Monday afternoon while the shares of competitors like Las Vegas Sands, MGM Mirage and Pinnacle Entertainment were off by between 1.6% and 2.5%.

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