Las Vegas Sands is only interested in developing a Japanese integrated resort in Osaka, with any future Asian investments to be focused on large scale and long-term returns according to President and COO Rob Goldstein.
Goldstein’s comments were part of a “fireside chat” with brokerage Bernstein during the recent 2019 Strategic Decisions Conference in which he outlined the company’s long-term plans in Asia and specifically in Macau, Japan and Singapore.
LVS confirmed as recently as a fortnight ago, during the Japan Gaming Congress in Tokyo, that it was targeting a metropolitan city for a Japan IR but this is the first time the company has narrowed it down to Osaka alone. According to a note issued by Bernstein early Thursday morning, Osaka is the only city in which LVS believes it can build a large-scale IR with “millions of square feet” of convention space, “thousands” of hotel rooms and “huge” retail space.
Management also believes its track record in Macau and Singapore gives it a distinct advantage over its rivals – namely MGM Resorts with its own “Osaka First” policy and Melco Resorts & Entertainment which unveiled its grand Osaka design concept at the 1st Japan IR Expo in Osaka earlier this month.
According to Bernstein, “the overarching theme of the discussion was that LVS wants to focus on long-term (decades of) large scale investments and build integrated resorts that stands out on size and quality (in Asia).”
Similar to a theme floated by Galaxy Entertainment Group recently, LVS and its subsidiary Sands China plan to compete regionally on quality rather than price, specifically targeting the premium mass segment.
Goldstein revealed that Sands further breaks premium mass down into three sub-segments – “base premium mass”, “the middle segment” and “premium premium mass”. It is “the middle segment”, where the player is expected to lose US$10,000 per trip, that LVS is primarily focused on growing.