CLAIMS TO FAME
- Assumed global leadership in 2021 following passing of Sheldon Adelson
- Oversaw disposal of company’s Las Vegas assets
- Pursuing IR developments in New York, Thailand
It seemed a daring move at the time when Las Vegas Sands announced in 2021 that it would sell its iconic Las Vegas Strip assets – The Venetian Resort Las Vegas and Sands Expo and Convention Center – for US$6.25 billion and focus its energies on Asia instead.
Yet two years on and with Macau having finally emerged from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, that decision is paying off in spades.
In Singapore, the company’s market-leading integrated resort Marina Bay Sands has been breaking records like plates at a Greek wedding, including an all-time quarterly mass gaming win of US$580 million in the June 2023 quarter – up 36% on the same period in 2019 – and Adjusted EBITDA that was 25% higher than 2Q19 at US$432 million.
That this was achieved while airlift to China remained at around 50% of pre-COVID levels left analysts to suggest there is still significant room for improvement ahead.
All of this must be music to LVS Chairman and CEO Robert Goldstein’s ears, and it seems only a matter of time before his prediction that MBS will achieve annual EBITDA of US$2 billion becomes a reality – even if the property’s planned US$3.3 billion expansion, which will add a fourth hotel tower plus other amenities, has been delayed by a year.
It’s a similar story for Goldstein and LVS in Macau. Fresh from inking a new 10-year gaming concession in December, the reopening of borders in January has quickly propelled the company’s local subsidiary, Sands China, back into the black with a 1H23 profit of US$175 million reversing a prior year loss of US$760 million. Sands China also reported Adjusted Property EBITDA of US$939 million compared with a 1H22 Adjusted EBITDA loss of US$120 million, coming on strong net revenues of US$2.9 billion through the first six months of the year.
Notably, Sands China revealed in its 2Q23 earnings call that the contribution of non-gaming facilities to the group’s revenues had reached 22% – an incredible feat given the propensity of Macau’s customer base towards pure gaming and one that will no doubt please the Macau government as well.
What has become abundantly apparent since the sad passing of LVS founder Sheldon Adelson in January 2021 is how snugly Goldstein has slotted into the company’s top job, and he maintains a clear vision for the direction LVS will head in the future.
Integrated resort development in New York remains on the cards, but just as enticing is the potential Thailand opportunity, perhaps confirming that it is indeed Asia that will determine the long-term success of Las Vegas Sands.
For the full list of 2023 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.