MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) is still hurting from the coronavirus pandemic, even though it's been open for several months here in the U.S. and operating in Macao since February. Tight restrictions on travel, casino capacity, and disinterest from the public during a global health crisis have hurt the casino operator's performance.

While MGM's stock has come back strong from the low point it hit in March, shares of the world-class resort remain 10% below where they started 2020. Here's why they should make a quick rebound in 2021.

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Although a global operator, MGM is much less exposed to the Macao market than either Las Vegas Sands or Wynn Resorts. Pre-pandemic, China represented only 22% of total revenue compared to 60% to 70% or more for its peers.

Analysts had expected China to bounce back relatively quickly from the COVID-19 outbreak since the virus originated there and it dealt with it swiftly, but that hasn't happened. So where Sands and Wynn will suffer more due to the delay, MGM should emerge relatively unscathed.

In the U.S., Las Vegas is still languishing and MGM's presence there is strained, but it also has numerous resorts in regional markets around the country that could see a fast recovery once a COVID-19 vaccine becomes widely available.

That should also allow professional sports to resume their normal seasonal play, which could be a huge catalyst for MGM. It spent a lot of time amassing properties and partnerships in key sports markets, and during the pandemic, sports betting (especially online) has been a very bright spot in the industry. With more states legalizing online gambling and sports wagering, BetMGM could be a premier player in the market, leading to MGM Resorts' stock soaring in 2021.

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