Las Vegas Sands and its Macau-subsidiary Sands China stand ready to invest another US$5 billion to US$10 billion into Macau should the government incorporate further capital expectations into its license retendering.
Speaking for the first time as LVS Chairman and CEO on the company’s 4Q20 earnings call on Thursday morning (Macau time), long-time executive Rob Goldstein addressed a series of questions over the company’s future investment plans following recent rumors it may be considering selling off some of its Las Vegas assets.
While such a sale is not currently top of mind, LVS will consider such a move if it enables more lucrative investment opportunities in its key markets of Macau and Singapore, Goldstein said. Notably, he added that the company expects a requirement for further investment into Macau in the future with an additional US$5 billion to US$10 billion already pegged for the Chinese casino hub.
“I believe when Macau makes its decision (on retendering) there will be a requirement to invest further in Macau,” he said. “That’s how Sheldon [Adelson] felt, that we would invest another US$5 billion to US$10 billion.
“When the Macanese government makes its decision I think we will continue upon a rather solid capital investment which I know is how Sheldon felt, to grab that opportunity with both hands.
“There is just no place like Macau [and] we’re not done in Macau. We’re going to be there for many more years.
“When all this goes away, I bet one thing that will happen is the Macau government is going to necessitate that licensees make investments in Macau and we want to be there and be ready.”
Noting that LVS is already in the midst of a US$3.3 billion expansion of its Marina Bay Sands property in Singapore, Goldstein observed, “These are not small investments, they are in the billions of dollars, so we have to be prepared for outside investments in our best markets, which are Macau and Singapore for crazy growth.”
Just weeks after the passing of Adelson following a lengthy battle with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Goldstein also confirmed the company was exploring opportunities to move into the US online gaming space – rejecting suggestions that Adelson was outright opposed to such a move. Adelson’s objections, he said, were simply around whether technology could ensure the proper safeguards were in place around under-age or problem gambling concerns.
Asked if he had any specific thoughts himself on online gaming, Goldstein said, “I have very strong thoughts about that but I don’t want to talk about them at this time.
“We are exploring it and if we have something concrete to say we will tell you. Right now it’s simply exploratory in the same we explore lots of things over time.
“I saw something about the possibility of an IR in Thailand and we’re exploring that as well. Everything is up for grabs and as a company our balance sheet enables us to have a very curious appetite to grow.”
Aside from growth opportunities in Asia and the digital space, Goldstein pointed to the potential for a land-based property in New York as a key focus for the company domestically in the coming years.