Report: Macau gaming operators ‘highly exposed’ in U.S.-China trade conflictHoward Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · July 11, 2018 at 12:01 amA Hong Kong-based risk management firm said Macau’s gaming sector is “highly exposed” in the developing trade conflict between the U.S. and China.In a report posted to its website, Steve Vickers & Associates which advises financial institutions, private equity firms and other businesses and individuals, said the trade conflict between the U.S. and China will “alter the shape of commercial activity across Asia,” harming some companies, but presenting opportunities to others. SeekingAlpha.com first cited the report.The gaming industry could be harmed, according to the report. Macau has the largest gaming marketing in the world, producing $33 billion in revenue last year, a 19 percent increase and the first annual gain since 2013. The market is up around 20 percent this year.Three Nevada-based casino operators, MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands Corp., operate a large collection of Macau casinos.“Any significant slowdown or fall in the yuan’s value may lead to Beijing’s further curbing of capital outflows, so dampening casino revenues,” according to the Vickers report.The report cited Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson, who “boasts close ties to President (Donald) Trump.“These companies now sit on a geopolitical fault line. Their Macau concessions can therefore be on the line,” Vickers wrote.Jefferies gaming analyst David Katz said in a note to investors Monday that Macau gaming numbers continue to look promising. He said revenue for the month is running ahead of projections. Katz said Macau showed little impact from the World Cup soccer matches, which often draw the interest of gamblers away from the baccarat tables.“The beginning of the month was positively impacted by two calendar weekends and fewer matches in the World Cup tournament,” Katz said. “We … remain comfortable in the operating environment in Macau in the near term.”Washington has imposed tariffs on China, including a 25 percent levy on steel, a 10 percent tax on aluminum, and a 25 percent charge on Chinese goods. The Chinese government has responded with tariffs on American products.“Further escalation seems inevitable, as tensions intensify,” Vickers said in the report. “Investments are also at risk. Washington plans to curtail Chinese investment in high technology companies, while General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Xi Jinping has threatened to “punch back.”Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.