PRESIDENT AND CEO
Marina Bay Sands
MANAGING DIRECTOR – GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT
Las Vegas Sands
POWER SCORE: 1,477
POSITION LAST YEAR: 26
CLAIMS TO FAME
• Heads Asia’s most widely admired integrated resort
• Leads LVS expansion efforts in Japan and beyond
• Former executive at Singapore government linked property developer CapitaLand
GEORGE Tanasijevich runs Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, the most envied integrated resort globally, so it makes perfect sense for him to show other jurisdictions how to get a similarly iconic IR in their city. And yes, it has to be in a city, one that’s a national center of business and finance, with domestic and international transport links to support a convention-driven business model and, importantly, permission for local citizens to game.
Singapore has all of that, and MBS projects to deliver more than US$1.5 billion in EBITDA this year at better than 50% margins, with non-gaming producing 30% of profits. With 2,600 rooms, 1.2 million square feet of MICE space, 800,000 square feet of retail, nearly 600 gaming tables and 2,300 machines, MBS consistently ranks as the most profitable casino property on earth, and it’s about to get bigger.
In April, Singapore announced expansion agreements with MBS and crosstown rival, Genting’s Resorts World Sentosa. MBS will spend SG$4.5 billion (US$3.3 billion) for a new high rise hotel with around 1,000 rooms and, like the current triple towers, a rooftop pool, plus a 15,000 seat arena designed especially for music performances, MICE area and, crucially, 2,000 meters of additional gaming space and 1,000 machines. Completion is scheduled for 2024, but casino entry levies have already risen 50% to SG$150 daily and SG$3,000 annually, depressing mass gaming revenue since.
Tanasijevich, an attorney and former real estate development executive in the US and then Singapore with government linked CapitaLand, leads LVS efforts to secure an IR license in Japan. LVS ditched its “Osaka first” policy in August to focus on Yokohama, which has declared its IR interest, and Tokyo, which hasn’t.
For the full list of 2019 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.