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Gaming stocks up after UK becomes first western nation to approve COVID-19 vaccine for rollout

Global gaming stocks edged upwards on Wednesday following news that the United Kingdom has become the first western nation to officially approve a COVID-19 vaccine for widespread use.

In a groundbreaking moment almost 12 months in the making, the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) revealed that it had accepted a recommendation by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) to approve a vaccine jointly developed by US pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer and German biotechnology firm BioNTech, which will now be rolled out from next week.

“This follows months of rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data by experts at the MHRA who have concluded that the vaccine has met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness,” a DHSC spokesman said.

“The joint committee on vaccination and immunization will shortly also publish its latest advice for the priority groups to receive the vaccine, including care home residents, health and care staff, the elderly and the clinically extremely vulnerable. The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week.”

While an initial 800,000 doses will be prioritized for Britain’s most vulnerable from next week, the news appeared to have a positive impact on certain share prices around the world, including major gaming stocks.

In the US, Wynn Resorts closed up 2.71% at US$105.13, MGM Resorts up 1.87% at US$29.35, Las Vegas Sands up 1.75% at US$57.61 and Caesars Entertainment up 0.97% to US$68.50. Macau operator Melco Resorts & Entertainment was up 0.11% on the Nasdaq to US$18.21.

In Hong Kong, MGM China closed 3.06% better off at HK$11.46, Sands China was up 2.61% to HK$33.45, Wynn Macau up 0.74% to HK$13.56 and SJM Holdings up 0.66% to HK$9.14.

Galaxy Entertainment Group closed even at HK$60.35.

The positive news out of the UK comes as the Macau SAR Government also announced Wednesday that it expected to receive first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine for the use of frontline medical personnel within the month.

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