PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Las Vegas Sands Corp
POWER SCORE: 2,668
POSITION LAST YEAR: 8
CLAIMS TO FAME
• Sheldon Adelson’s global deputy and enforcer
• Has overseen key property openings in Las Vegas and Macau
Could it be that the increased role undertaken by Rob Goldstein at Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS) in 2019 has provided a glimpse into the company’s future?
With Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson having had limited involvement in the day-to-day operations of LVS this year due to illness – the company revealed in March that the 86-year-old had been undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma – it has been left to Goldstein and Adelson’s son-in-law Patrick Dumont to fill the void.
And despite the founder’s absence, it’s been business as usual for the global gaming giant with 2Q19 net revenue rising 0.9% year-on-year to US$3.33 billion and operating income by 12.2% to US$894 million.
Certainly the company’s global ambitions haven’t slowed at all in 2019. In April, LVS announced that it had reached an agreement with the Singapore Tourism Board to embark on a US$3.3 billion expansion of its hugely successful Singapore IR, Marina Bay Sands. More recently it clarified its Japan ambitions by pulling out of the race for Osaka and declaring its intention to pursue a license in Tokyo or Yokohama instead. And its Macau subsidiary, Sands China, has been active on multiple development fronts.
Work is now well underway on the US$2.2 billion transformation of Sands Cotai Central into The Londoner Macao – Sands China’s third themed Macau resort set to feature scale replicas of famous British landmarks plus a 6,000-seat arena, British-inspired shops and restaurants, plus an extra 60 gaming tables and 300 slot machines.
Central to the Sands Cotai Central revamp will be the conversion of the 1,200-room Holiday Inn Macao Cotai Central into a 594-key luxury all-suite offering as part of the company’s long-term plan of targeting the lucrative premium mass market. With that in mind, Sands China is also converting the nearby Four Seasons Hotel Macao at The Venetian into a high-end property with the first of around 290 new suites coming online over the autumn.
Discussing its premium mass ambitions during Sands China’s second quarter earnings call, Goldstein said the upgrades would put the company in “a position for the future that is dominant” – notwithstanding that its share of Macau GGR already stands at 23.3%, top of the tree when it comes to the city’s six concessionaires.
“We have the largest base mass business by far in Macau … [and] the largest premium mass business in Macau,” he said. “Macau rewards quality product and scale and we have the product to drive exceptional premium mass play as a result. We expect to dominate that segment in the same manner we dominate base mass play.”
A veteran of the company, having served as Executive Vice President of Marketing at the Sands Hotel in Atlantic City before joining Las Vegas Sands in 1995, Goldstein has long been at the coalface of LVS’ rise to the top of the global gaming mountain.
He was part of the executive team that oversaw the opening of LVS flagship The Venetian Las Vegas, became the property’s first President and Chief Operating Officer upon launch in 1999 and when the Palazzo opened in 2007 he took charge there too, later earning promotion to President of Global Gaming Operations in January 2011 where he became a guiding force of the company’s growth into the industry’s largest multinational.
Eight years on, Goldstein continues to drive Las Vegas Sands forward.
For the full list of 2019 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.