Inside Asian Gaming

IAG FEB 2021年2月 亞博匯 34 COVER STORY Adelson’s Asia education 艾德森的亞洲經驗 I mporting The Venetian and its convention-centric business model from Las Vegas to Asia led many to believe Sheldon Adelson didn’t understand the region that made him a multibillionaire. There’s no doubt Adelson faced a steep learning curve in Asia, but there are signs he learned. LVS showed stunning naivety when it chose China Development Industrial Bank (CDIB), the financial arm of Taiwan’s Kuomintang party, as its Macau partner during the 2001 bidding process. Consultant Richard Suen warned against working with an enemy of China’s Communist Party, and Macau authorities vetoed CDIB but wanted LVS enough to facilitate a new partnership. Bidding in Singapore in 2005, Adelson seemingly absorbed lessons from Macau. After a cool reception to its initial Marina Bay design, LVS enlisted architect Moshe Safdie, director of Harvard University’s urban design program, where several senior Singapore planning officials studied. Additionally, LVS transferred George Tanasijevich, a former executive at Singapore’s CapitaLand, partially owned by the government, from The Venetian Macao construction to Singapore to lead the local team. For Singapore authorities, Safdie and Tanasijevich lent credibility to an unprecedented design – a trio of 57- story towers topped with a one-hectare (2.5 acre) deck – from a bidder that had completed exactly one casino resort to date. NO SALE In Macau, proposed LVS residential sales in Cotai produced friction. In August 2008, LVS opened the Four Seasons complex next to The Venetian Macao, including a 30-story tower with 300 units that LVS repeatedly stated were intended for sale as serviced apartments. But upon their completion, authorities objected to apartment sales. No Macau native holds a gaming concession, and other industries have atrophied. Adelson led the