Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Rob Goldstein believes there is “no chance” the company’s Macau subsidiary, Sands China, will be overlooked for a new casino concession when the upcoming re-tender process is complete.
Investor concerns over Macau license re-tendering and proposed revisions to the SAR’s gaming law were the main topics of conversation during LVS’s 3Q21 earnings call on Thursday (Asia time), although Goldstein remained steadfast in his confidence as to where Sands China is placed. He also confirmed the company has already submitted to the government its responses to those proposed gaming law revisions.
Asked if he was worried about the prospect of missing out on a new gaming concession once Sands China’s current license expires in June 2022, Goldstein replied, “I see no chance of that whatsoever.
“The truth is we’ve been doing this for a couple of decades, we’ve got an unparalleled track record. The whole Cotai development was … one guy did that, Sheldon [Adelson]. One guy put US$15 billion of gaming and non-gaming assets, one company made almost US$4 billion in EBITDA and I think we’ve been stellar with our employees, so I remain beyond confident that we will be operating in Macau. I don’t think there is any chance whatsoever that we wouldn’t be.
“We’re very proud of our track record, our development, our investment but I think the government has recognized that we’ve been awfully good licensees and partners and friends of China and Macau, so no, I don’t believe that’s a possibility.”
LVS also downplayed concerns over particular revisions contained within the government’s updated gaming law, specifically a proposal to introduce limitations to the distribution of dividends by casino concessionaires to their shareholders. The dividend proposal has been described as having no parallel within Macau’s legal framework.
LVS President and COO Patrick Dumont said he was confident that “what will result from this process will be a good path forward. We’re very confident about the future.
“We don’t have those concerns and we’re eager to invest in Macau,” he said. “We assume the process will be fair and equal so we’re not that concerned about that issue at all.”
Goldstein added, “I have faith in the process. They’ve always treated us fairly and we’ve responded with the largest investment in any gaming market in the world, so we remain believers. We await the government’s advice and direction. We’ve submitted our responses but looking at our history and success will be instructive for our business in Macau.”