Scientific Game

2017 Inside Asian Gaming Power 50: Number one - Sheldon Adelson

Monday, 04 December 2017 15:28
Visit us

1 Sheldon Adelson

Las Vegas Sands

Sands China



• Brought Las Vegas to Asia with Sands Macao and Venetian Macao
• Founding father of Macau’s Cotai Strip, putting Macau on track as a tourism destination
• Developed Marina Bay Sands, icon of modern Singapore and the world’s most profitable casino

Sheldon Adelson continues to dominate the conversation in Asian gaming. He paved the way for Macau to become the world’s largest gaming destination, then led the way to expand the menu beyond gambling. He created the iconic integrated resort every jurisdiction wants, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and, even at age 84 with dozens of billions to his name, continues to push destinations across Asia to let him build one for them – on his terms, of course. He put down the marker for an unprecedented US$10 billion integrated resort in Japan, then scolded Japanese government officials for considering gaming regulations that might render that outlandish level of
investment unreasonable.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Venetian Macao, built on the then-unwanted landfill between Macau’s outer islands of Coloane and Taipa. Las Vegas Sands won a Macau license on the promise of building a Las Vegas Strip scale resort, but there wasn’t any place large enough to put that resort on the Macau Peninsula. So Mr Adelson drove his covered wagons over the Governor Nobre de Carvalho Bridge and across Taipa, blazing the trail to Cotai, where Venetian Macao took shape. At 980,000 square meters (10.5 million square feet), it was the first IR to incorporate a full-size arena into the mix of retail, convention, theater and hotel, all alongside the world’s largest casino, with 800 tables and 3,400 machines when it opened.

The decision to build a medieval Venice themed resort in a market with genuine 16th century European landmarks may lie at the confluence of ignorance, arrogance and stubborn habit, but Venetian Macao remains the city’s leading modern tourist attraction and a huge money spinner. Adelson’s Las Vegas rivals didn’t believe in Cotai, with only only Lawrence Ho taking up the government’s initial offer of land there. Galaxy got its plot as part of the divorce settlement with LVS that added three subconcessions to the original three gaming concessions. As a result, Team Adelson scored Cotai’s prime real estate, including sites for Sands Cotai Central – to be remade as the Londoner – and the Parisian, plus St Regis and Four Seasons, giving LVS subsidiary Sands China more rooms in Cotai than all its gaming competitors combined. That advantage will hold, even after MGM Cotai opens on 29 January 2018.

Sands China’s inventory of rooms, plus amenities from singing gondoliers to 800 retail outlets to a half-size Eiffel Tower that’s way cooler than it may sound, have positioned Sands China to lead Macau toward its mandated future as a tourism and leisure hub. For Sands China that means even more highly profitable mass market gaming and non-gaming revenue.

Mass market focus helped Sands China weather Macau’s two-year slump better than its rivals. Now that VIP is leading the recovery, some question whether Mr Adelson had gotten it wrong. But with its focus on higher margin activities, Union Gaming Macau Managing Director Grant Govertsen assures, “Adelson is laughing all the way to the bank.”

Whether laughing or cajoling, he’s right in the middle of Asia’s gaming conversation.

To return to the full list of 2017 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.

Current Issue

2017 Inside Asian Gaming Power 50: Meet the Selection Panel

2017 Inside Asian Gaming Power 50: Meet the Selection Panel Andrew W Scott CEOInside Asian Gaming Inside Asian Gaming’s CEO first entered a casino in 1986, fell in love with the surrounds and has been around them ever since. Andrew founded World Gaming Group and launched WGM in 2009, took over IAG in 2015, debuted a third magazine called High Life in ... Tuesday, 05 December 2017 19:28

2017 Inside Asian Gaming Power 50: Ten Years On

2017 Inside Asian Gaming Power 50: Ten Years On A decade of making the Asian Gaming Power 50 By Andrew W ScottIAG Asian Gaming Power 50 selection panel Chairman EVERY year for the last decade, Inside Asian Gaming has completed a task that is fascinating, exhilarating, intellectually stimulating and industry-defining whilst simultaneously bei... Tuesday, 05 December 2017 19:12

2017 Inside Asian Gaming Power 50: Number 19 -  James Murren

2017 Inside Asian Gaming Power 50: Number 19 - James Murren 19 James Murren CHAIRPERSON AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTORMGM China Holdings POWER SCORE1,165 LAST YEAR12 CLAIMS TO FAME • Chairman of the world’s second largest casino company • Credited with keeping MGM Resorts afloat during the GFC If the strong domestic results achieved by MGM China’s pa... Tuesday, 05 December 2017 14:44

2017 Inside Asian Gaming Power 50: Number 18 - Chen Lip Keong

2017 Inside Asian Gaming Power 50: Number 18 - Chen Lip Keong 18 Chen Lip Keong CEO AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTORNagaCorp POWER SCORE1,234 LAST YEAR20 CLAIMS TO FAME • Casino monopoly within 200 kilometers of Phnom Penh runs to 2035, license to 2065. • Owns 65% of first gaming company ever listed in Hong Kong • NagaWorld extension Naga2 debuted in Novemb... Tuesday, 05 December 2017 14:39