Las Vegas Sands Corp.

    Website: https://www.sands.com/

    Las Vegas Sands is an intergrated resort developer and operator. Its resorts feature luxury accommodations, state-of-the-art gaming, high-end retail, celebrity-chef dining and a wide-range of entertainment and convention space for both business and leisure guests.It runs integrated Resorts in Las Vegas, Bethlehem, Macau and Singapore, with 10 resorts worldwide and three of the world’s largest convention centers. It has a unique convention-based marketing strategy which allows the company to attract business travelers during the slower mid-week periods while focusing on leisure travelers during peak visitation. Its convention, trade show and meeting facilities are located with all on-site amenities offered at our resorts. Its integrated Resorts in the United States include The Venetian and The Palazzo. The resorts offer not only luxury accommodations and entertainment but when combined with Sands Expo & Convention Center, The Venetian and The Palazzo also make up one of the largest LEED certified buildings on the planet. Also in the United States is Sands Bethlehem, a AAA 4-diamond and 4 Green Key property, located on the site of the historic Bethlehem Steel Works.In Asia, the company runs the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. It has also developed – through its majority-owned subsidiary Sands China Ltd. – a collection of resorts in Macau, including The Venetian Macau, Sands Macau, The Plaza Macau featuring Four Seasons Hotel Macau, Cotai Central, Sands Cotai Central, The St. Regis Macau, Cotai Central, as well as its most recent edition, The Parisian Macau.

    People

    George Tanasijevich

    George Tanasijevich has been the president and chief executive officer of Marina Bay Sands Pte. Ltd., a subsidiary of Las Vegas Sands Corp. since January 2011 and July 2011 respectively.Tanasijevich has also been the managing director of global development at Las Vegas Sands Corp. since January 2011. Tanasijevich previously served as senior vice president / Equity Markets at CapitaLand Limited in Singapore, Southeast Asia’s largest real estate conglomerate. Prior to joining CapitaLand, Mr. Tanasijevich served as corporate vice president of General Growth Properties, which was at that time the second largest shopping mall REIT in the United States. Tanasijevich has an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, a law degree from Loyola University of Chicago, where he was a member of the law review, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.

    Sheldon Adelson

    Mr. Sheldon G. Adelson is an internationally renowned businessman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. His business career spans nearly seven decades and has included creating and developing to maturity more than 50 different companies, including the COMDEX tradeshow for the computer industry. At his direction, COMDEX became the world’s largest TRADE show with a presence in many different countries.Mr. Adelson is also the founder of Las Vegas Sands Corp. - a company which has become the leading global developer of integrated resorts, which feature premium accommodations, world-class gaming and entertainment, convention and exhibition facilities, celebrity chef restaurants, and many other amenities.As the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, Mr. Adelson’s penchant for challenging and changing the status quo has led the company to overwhelming success in every location in which it operates.In Las Vegas he is widely credited for helping transform the city from a gaming-centric regional location into the leading convention and exhibition city in the United States. In Macao, Mr. Adelson’s vision to recreate the Las Vegas Strip was originally panned by most observers, but since opening The Venetian Macao on the Cotai Strip in 2007, his development plans have become the envy of international leisure and hospitality operators everywhere.In 2010, Mr. Adelson set the bar even higher with the opening of the $6 billion Marina Bay Sands integrated resort in Singapore. In addition to all the amenities that have become the hallmarks of Las Vegas Sands-developed properties, this iconic facility features a three-acre SkyPark which sits more than 50-stories off the ground and on top of the property’s three hotel towers.Having been featured on the cover of more than 50 different publications, Mr. Adelson has been profiled by many of the world’s leading print and broadcast news organizations.He has earned multiple honorary degrees and has been a guest lecturer at various colleges and universities, including the University of New Haven, Harvard Business School, Columbia Business School, Tel Aviv University and Babson College.Among his numerous awards for his business and philanthropic work are the Armed Forces Foundation’s Patriot Award, Hotel Investment Conference’s Innovation Award, the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship and induction into the American Gaming Association’s Hall of Fame.Mr. Adelson and his wife, Dr. Miriam Adelson, are noted philanthropists who donate to a variety of civic and charitable causes.

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    Bernstein raises target price for LVS, Sands China

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    Sands best placed for Japan license, MorningStar says

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    EBITDA targets achievable for 2017, Deutsche Bank says

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    Galaxy brings forward staff pay rise from July to April

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    LVS to continue scouting for IR opportunities

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    Sands China 16Q4 results miss expectations

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    LVS settles criminal bribery case with $7 million

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    Casino operators restart marketing ops

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    Bloomberry would seek a partner for potential Japan casino

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    UnionPay ATM withdrawal limit slashed in half

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    Casino bill clears Lower House, enactment almost certain

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    Sands China holds 4th annual Supplier Excellence Awards

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    Lawmakers reopen casino legalization debate

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    LVS Q3 tops estimates, says Macau improving

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    Connectivity key to speed of ramp up in Macau

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    Marina Bay Sands employee jailed for chip fraud

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    UBS lowers SG gaming revenue estimates

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    Sands wants to invest 5-12 trillion won in Busan casino

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    US Court rules that Suen assisted LVS obtain license

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    Sands China EBITDA to decline 10 percent in 2016: Fitch

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    Sands makes another push into South Korea

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    Galaxy calls Sands Boss “impolite” and “unprofessional”

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    Sands looking to add 1,000 room tower in Singapore

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    Las Vegas Sands settles lawsuit with former Macau CEO

    Macau operator Sands China and parent company Las Vegas Sands Corp have settled a lawsuit filed by a former chief executive. Steve Jacobs, who headed Sands’ Macau operations from 2009 to 2010 filed a lawsuit after he was wrongfully terminated by Las Vegas Sands in 2010. Jacobs contended he was wrongfully terminated by Las Vegas […]

    Further cost cutting will prove challenging: Deutsche Bank

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    A second “locals” casino will destroy the country, says Jung

    A second casino in Korea permitting the entry of locals will “destroy the country”, an international gaming expert warns. In an interview with Korea Herald during G2E Asia in Macau last week, David Jung, Chairman of Hero Poker said allowing a casino to open within urban areas in Korea is a “dangerous idea”. “If they […]

    Asia Gaming Awards winners announced

    The final winners in the Asia Gaming Awards were announced last night at a stunning Gala Dinner and Award Ceremony held at The Venetian Macao. The Asia Gaming Awards, hosted by Asia Gaming Brief in association with G2E Asia and The Innovation Group, recognized the best of the best in ten Award categories spanning the […]

    Las Vegas Sands fined $2 million over AML charges

    Las Vegas Sands Corp. has agreed to pay a $2 million fine to settle allegations involving accounting violations in China and AML failures in Las Vegas, local media reports. The fine was announced by the Nevada Gaming Control Board on Wednesday. According to the regulator, Sands did not admit or deny any of the allegations […]
    Marina Bay Sands

    Marina Bay Sands has license renewed

    Las Vegas Sands Corp’s Marina Bay Sands resorts has had its casino license renewed for the next three years, local media reports. The renewal will take effect from Tuesday, April 26. In February, Genting Singapore had its license renewed for three years. Earlier this year, Forbes reported the Las Vegas Sands’ Singapore operation will see […]

    LVS mulls sale of Singapore retail assets

    Las Vegas Sands Corp. chairman and CEO says he’s considering selling Marina Bay Sands’ retail assets after a government-imposed moratorium expires next year, Bloomberg reports. Sheldon Adelson in a conference call after LVS announced its first quarter results said the company had been speaking with potential buyers about the retail assets. “We have been approached. […]

    Sands China profit down 9.6 percent, below estimates

    Macau casino operator Sands China Ltd reported 16Q1 profit fell 9.6 percent year on year, the result of a challenging operating environment in Macau. The results, which were below analyst expectations, saw total net revenue for Sands China down 7.9 percent to $1.6 billion in the first quarter of 2016, compared to $1.8 billion the […]

    Sands former president retires from board of directors

    Casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp has announced its former president Michael Leven has retired from the company’s board of directors, according to a SEC filing on Tuesday. Leven also plans to exit the board of its Macau subsidiary, Sands China, with both departures effective immediately. Leven was named president in 2009 in one of […]

    Las Vegas Sands to pay $9 million to settle SEC allegations

    Casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp. has agreed to pay $9 million to settle SEC allegations that it violated anti-bribery law, local media reports. The allegations revolved around the company’s sponsorship of a Chinese basketball team, plans for a business center in Beijing and a ferry deal in Macau and failing to properly document transactions […]

    Las Vegas Sands to face $10 billion lawsuit

    Macau’s Court of First Appeal has ruled that a former business partner of Las Vegas Sands Corp. can proceed with its lawsuit seeking billions in compensation for breaking the terms of their former partnership agreement, Reuters reports. According to a filing on March 16, the Court of First Appeal (TJB) denied Las Vegas Sands’ motion […]

    Sheldon Adelson son-in-law appointed as CFO of Las Vegas Sands

    Casino operator Las Vegas Sands has announced the appointment of Patrick Dumont as its chief financial officer, according to an announcement from the company. Las Vegas Sands chairman and chief executive officer Sheldon Adelson, who is also Dumont’s father-in-law, said the appointment was the formalization of a role Dumont had already been performing. “Patrick has […]

    Sands to do “whatever it takes” to gain support for its S.Korea casino

    Las Vegas Sands Corp. says it will push its plan to build its proposed $10 billion casino resort in South Korea, according to an interview with George Tanasijevich, managing director of Global Development for Las Vegas Sands Corp. Tanasijevich, who is also the CEO of Marina Bay Sands spoke with Korea Times in an interview, […]

    Sands persuades U.S. court to throw out $70 million verdict related to casino permit

    Casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp. has once again persuaded the Nevada Supreme Court to throw out a jury award won by Richard Suen, in relation to claims that he helped Sands secure its license in Macau, local media reports.   On Friday, the state court said there was not enough evidence to justify the […]

    Las Vegas Sands boss says more discounting of Macau rooms to come

    Las Vegas Sands president and chief operating officer Robert Goldstein believes room rates may fall when several new properties come on line in Macau this year, local media reports. Goldstein, who was quoted at the JP Morgan Gaming, Lodging, Restaurant and Leisure Management Access Forum in Las Vegas last week, said properties to be opened […]

    District Judge to continue hearing Steve Jacobs’ case against LVS

    District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez will continue hearing Steven Jacobs’ case against Las Vegas Sands, as the casino firm failed to provide “new grounds to remove” Gonzalez from the case, local media reports. Chief Clark County District Judge David Barker made the ruling last week after investigating claims the Gonzalez was bias in Jacobs’ lawsuit. “This […]

    Former Sands executive takes dismissal case to U.S. Federal Court

    A former Sands executive is asking a federal court in Nevada to rule on the continuing legal battle over his 2010 dismissal as head of operations of the Macau-based casino, according to local media. The lawsuit, filed on Jan. 29 in a U.S. District Court in Las Vegas seeks for unspecified damages on the question […]

    First Cagayan, LVS copyright infringement case dismissed by US Court

    U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan from the District Court of Nevada has granted First Cagayan’s motion to vacate and set aside final judgment in relation to the copyright infringement claims filed by Las Vegas Sands in 2014.   It was reported in Mar. 2015 that Las Vegas Sands won an intellectual property case against […]

    Las Vegas Sands plans $1 billion domed stadium in Vegas

    Casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp is proposing a $1 billion stadium on 42 acres of land near the University of Nevada Las Vegas. The 65,000 seat stadium would be designed to house the UNLV football team, and potentially an NFL team, according to local media. Andy Abboud, LV Sands’ senior VP of government relations […]

    YWS’ Robert Coppola takes part in ‘Engaging Millennials’ panel at ICE

    Roberto Coppola, global director of research & consumer insights at YWS Design & Architecture will participate in the International Casino Conference, taking part in the panel: “Engaging with Millennials” on February 1st in London. With gaming industry colleagues covering the perspectives of social and land-based gaming trends, Roberto’s panel will discuss: key drivers of the […]

    Wynn concerned about Cotai delays, warns of penalties

    Wynn Macau has sent a letter to the contractor developing its $4.1 billion Wynn Palace on Cotai warning of penalty payments should construction milestones fail to be met. The opening of the resort has already been delayed by three months to June 25th from an original launch plan in March. “We are concerned that with […]

    Lobby group withdraws request for probe of Adelson

    The Campaign for Accountability has retracted an allegation that accused Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson of tolerating prostitution in his casinos. The group said it regrets its request and has withdrawn its submission requesting an investigation. “The allegations relied upon in making the requests are false and we apologize sincerely for any inconvenience or […]

    Weaker-than-expected start for Macau Nov. GGR

    Gross gambling revenue in the first week of November is pointing to a weak start for the month, prompting analysts to revise down their forecasts. According to Bernstein Research average daily revenue in the week through to Nov. 8th was MOP 525 million ($66 million), lower than October’s MOP 647 million rate, mainly due to […]

    Las Vegas Sands 3Q earnings top forecasts: Singapore bright

    Las Vegas Sands 3Q earnings declined due to a 46-percent drop in profit at its Macau unit, though the figure was better than expected and Singapore proved a bright spot. Adjusted net income decreased to $529.8 million, or $0.66 per diluted share, compared to $675.7 million, or $0.84 per diluted share, in the third quarter […]

    LVS modest margin declines likely to accelerate: DB

    Las Vegas Sands 15Q3 results beat expectations due to continued cost cutting in Macau and a surprising upside in Singapore, but recent modest margin declines are likely to accelerate, Deutsche Bank said in a note. LVS’ adjusted net income decreased to $529.8 million, or $0.66 per diluted share, compared to $675.7 million, or $0.84 per […]

    Macau EBITDA seen down 36 percent in Q3

    The profitability of Macau’s casino operators is expected to decline more than revenue in Q3, though results will have improved from the prior quarter due to stabilization in the higher margin mass market, UBS said in a research note. Overall EBITDA is seen falling 36 percent year-on-year in Q3, that’s up 2 percent from Q2. […]

    LVS Macau mass market share drops in Sept., Wells Fargo says

    Las Vegas Sands was the biggest loser in terms of mass market share among the U.S.-listed operators in Macau in September, according to Wells Fargo research. For the market as a whole, unadjusted mass revenue fell 33 percent year-on-year, with junket volumes down 54 percent and VIP revenue off 34 percent, the analysts said in […]

    Alan Dershowitz to represent Sands in lawsuit

    Famed attorney Alan Dershowitz has been recruited by Sands China Ltd. to argue that Nevada’s Supreme Court should dismiss a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by the company’s former CEO five years ago, the Associated Press reported. Dershowitz and Sands China lawyer Steve Morris argued the company is registered in the Cayman Islands and does business […]

    Macau’s mass-market Emerges as Sands shifts from junket-VIP

    Macau’s collapsing junket-driven VIP business is hastening the casino hub’s transition into a leisure-oriented destination, akin to Las Vegas, said Bloomberg Intelligence. In response to comments made by Robert Goldstein, president of Las Vegas Sands, in a 15Q2 Earnings Call, in which he said Macao is “very clearly,” a mass market, Bloomberg said Sands China […]

    Wells Fargo neutral on Macau

    Wells Fargo says it remains neutral on Macau despite largely positive results from Las Vegas Sands in 15Q2, adding that once revenues stabilize, “we do not see a V-shaped recovery.” In a note analyst Cameron McKnight said it is notable that LVS drove higher share and margins in a market that’s been persistently weak, is […]

    China suspects LVS Macau casinos of being used by CIA

    China suspects that Las Vegas Sands’ Macau casinos were being used by U.S. intelligence agents to entrap and blackmail Chinese officials, the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper reported, citing a confidential report for the gambling industry. The report was filed by a private investigator in 2010. “Many of the (Chinese) officials we contacted were of the view […]

    Sands China net revenues decline 25.6 percent in 15Q2

    Sands China Ltd.’s total net revenues decreased 25.6 percent to $1.77 billion in 15Q2, compared to $2.38 billion in the same period last year, its parent company Las Vegas Sands reported. In a filing to the stock exchange LVS said adjusted property EBITDA for Sands China Ltd. decreased 29.5 percent to $564.5 million in the […]

    Las Vegas Sands Q2 earnings seen down 28 percent

    Las Vegas Sands will be the first of the six operators in Macau to report Q2 earnings on Wednesday, with analysts expecting a drop of about 28 percent in net profit from the year earlier. Earnings per share are expected to be about $0.61, down from $0.85 cents a year earlier, while revenue is seen […]

    U.S. judge won’t unveil LVS files in Macau wrongful dismissal case

    A U.S. judge said she won’t unseal confidential documents that could reveal business ties between Las Vegas Sands and Chinese triad gangs. District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez, hearing a wrongful dismissal case involving former senior Sands China executive Steven Jacobs, said the reports contained sensitive commercial and gaming information that shouldn’t be made public, according to […]

    Judge urged to unseal documents in Sands China unfair dismissal case

    A Clark County district judge in the U.S. has been petitioned by two organizations to unseal documents that potentially reveal business ties between Chinese triads and Las Vegas Sands, according to media reports. The motions were filed by Guardian News & Media, publisher of the British newspaper The Guardian, and the Campaign for Accountability, a […]

    Sands Cotai partners with Lander Real Estate for sporting events

    Sands Resorts Cotai Strip Macao announced that it has entered into a long-term strategy partnership with Lander Real Estate Co., Ltd., to co-develop sporting events both nationally and abroad.  Dave Horton, global chief marketing officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Sands China Ltd, said the partnership comes at a time when sport is becoming […]

    Macau casino stocks gain as CS points to “green shoots”

    Shares in Macau casino operators gained Thursday following a Credit Suisse analysis of the breakdown of May gambling revenue that pointed to “some green shoots.” The investment bank said VIP gaming rose 3 percent from April, VIP rolling gained 7 percent and mass gaming was up 9 percent. “Mass revenue was quite decent, even after […]

    “Supply will create the demand” says Adelson on Macau

    Las Vegas Sands CEO said at a conference in New York that the key to lifting Macau out of a slump is to build more resorts which will in turn stoke demand, according to the Business Insider. Despite 11 straight months of falling gaming revenues in Macau due to China’s push to curb graft and […]

    Adelson to answer claims in court about fired former Macau executive

    Sheldon Adelson looks set to appear in court for the first time to answer allegations by Steven Jacobs, the former CEO of Las Vegas Sands’ Macau operations, who claims he was wrongfully dismissed. It will be the first time in the four-and-a-half-year case that Adelson will be forced to take the stand, according to a […]

    Casino stocks take a hit after visitor cap announced

    Casino stocks took a hit after the government announcement that Macau will cap the number of Mainland visitors to 21 million, with Wynn faring the worst. Wynn Resorts Limited finished Tuesday’s session as the worst performer on the S&P 500 Composite index, falling 6.13 or 4.59 percent to 127.47. Wynn has been downgraded by several […]

    Sands China announces amended credit agreement

    Sands China Ltd. announced that its subsidiary VML US Finance LLC has entered into a new loan agreement with lenders for $1 billion due to be transacted at the end of this month. “The Company is pleased to announce that on April 10, 2015, (the “Borrower”), an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, entered into […]

    Vietnam prepares for airport and casino developments

    A senior Vietnamese official has confirmed that he has asked local authorities to clear a site at the Van Don Economic Zone to prepare for an airport and casino-resort. It is hoped the developments will boost tourism to Quang Ninh province, which is home to the World Natural Heritage site of Halong Bay. “We haven’t […]

    Venetian ad featuring soccer star Beckham put on hold

    The Venetian Macau has scrapped a high-profile ad campaign featuring English soccer star David Beckham just two days before its launch. The Venetian Macau announced that this week’s launch event and campaign had been “postponed until further notice,” The South China Morning Post reported. The identity of the celebrity at the center of the campaign […]

    Netanyahu urges Japanese official to facilitate Adelson franchise

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pressed a senior Japanese official last year to allow for gaming tycoon Sheldon Adelson to open a casino in the country where gambling is largely banned. Las Vegas Sands CEO Adelson in February last year announced its intention to invest $10 billion in Japan to kick-start the country’s casino industry, […]

    Debate percolates over future gaming concessions in Macau

    An undercurrent of debate over the future of existing gaming concessions in Macau has begun to percolate as the contracts approach renewal in the coming few years. In a report launched by the Hong Kong-based securities and intelligence consultancy, Steve Vickers Associates, the firm says the Macau government may be considering looking to a “new” […]

    Tenman’s Matt Pryor joins Best Sunshine

    Former executive director for Las Vegas Sands, Solaire Resorts builder, Tenman Project Management Holdings Limited, Matthew Pryor, has joined Best Sunshine to take the lead in its construction of the $7.1 billion casino project on Saipan. Pryor was introduced by Best Sunshine CEO Mark Brown in a press conference Sunday afternoon at their headquarters on […]

    Macau operators’ Q4 EBITDA seen down 11 percent

    The Q4 EBITDA of Macau’s gaming operators is likely to decline about 11 percent quarter on quarter, outpacing a drop in revenue, due to the falling mass market, according to a note from Morgan Stanley. It says overall gambling revenue fell 9 percent quarter on quarter, with a 5 percent drop in VIP and 13 […]
    Japan, Yokohama (generic)

    Yokohama bid holds promise and perils

    Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi's announcement that her government would make an IR bid reshaped the licensing race in a way that few other events have done.
    Japan Diet Session

    Policy delays give late movers a fighting chance

    The Abe government's decision to drag its feet on more detailed regulations governing the IR industry and to delay the establishment of the Casino Management Board may exercise an effect on which local governments get licensed and which IR operators are selected.
    Bangkok, Thailand

    Operators eye Thai potential

    Thailand’s ongoing ban on all forms of gambling is proving a gold mine for casinos elsewhere in the region, with a growing number taking steps to specifically target the Thai VIP base. 

    Operators strive for a sporting chance in new jurisdictions

    Gaming companies have long recognised the lucrative potential of teaming up with sports, and as new jurisdictions open up to casinos, operators are seeking to leverage these ties to boost brand recognition, woo the public and dull the gambling edge.

    Surviving the titans

    Besides being titans in the casino world, there’s something else that Sheldon Adelson, Stanley Ho, Lim Kok Thay and Steve Wynn have in common and this factor may lead to important regulatory repercussions for their business empires.

    Of silver linings and inconvenient truths: Singapore casino expansion

    Singapore’s two integrated resorts will cast a longer reflection on the island state but new shadows cloud the horizon across the southern shoreline.

    Operators woo Japan local governments

    The season has come for the sixteen or seventeen interested IR operators to concretely develop their strategies to woo local governments and to position themselves to be chosen as partners.

    Japan IR winners emerge as framework becomes clear

    The increased clarity regarding the terms of IR regulation in Japan following the ruling coalition compromises is also throwing light on which institutions are now advantaged and which are disadvantaged in the race for licenses. Seth Sulkin, head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan’s task force on IRs, describes the outcome to Asia Gaming Brief as “a major victory for the major casino operators and large Japanese cities.” 

    Japan local governments gather at the starting line

    The year 2017 saw a distinct acceleration in the race to obtain licenses to build and operate Japan’s first IRs. While everyone agrees that the potential scope of the market is vast, without the precise locations and the terms of regulation yet being clarified, estimations of the ultimate size of this market remain little more than guesswork. Progress in the year was once again stalled by politics, though operators are hoping to push forward in 2018 with both the legislative framework and their own groundwork.

    Rush Street bets on regional opportunities

    For Chicago-based operator Rush Street Gaming (RSG), building an IR in a smaller, regional location like Tomakomai or Nagasaki is not a consolation prize for missing out on one of the major Japanese urban markets, but is itself the main event. In an exclusive interview with Asia Gaming Brief, RSG Chairman Neil Bluhm and CFO Tim Drehkoff—as well as Steve Rittvo, CEO of Innovation Project Development, who the company has retained to help them win their bid in Japan—laid out their priorities and strategies. 

    Japan the top prize, though Brazil seen a worthy contender

    Brazil and Japan are two of the most hotly anticipated casino markets, but how do they stack up against one another and which country is the most appealing for international casino operators and investors? The two nations have entwined cultural links, mainly due to mass migration throughout the 20th Century. In fact, Brazil is home to the world’s largest Japanese-descendant population outside Japan. One other thing Brazil and Japan have in common is that they both appear to be on the cusp of introducing legalized casino resorts after years of false starts and delays.

    Results improve as cost cutting, debt control kicks in

    Singapore’s two gaming operators reported an improvement in Q2 results, helped by cost controls, lower bad debts and higher premium play, though analysts see few catalysts for significant expansion of the market. In 2007, Singapore granted Las Vegas Sands and Genting Singapore a license for one resort each, with exclusivity until 2017. Those licenses were renewed in 2016 for a further three years, but the government is not expected to allow any new entrants, therefore keeping a lid on the size of the island-state’s gaming market.  

    Casino reform push gathers steam

    The push to legalize casinos in Thailand appears to be gathering momentum, though experts say any reforms are unlikely to have much of an impact on the thriving illegal market, which is estimated at more than $5 billion a year. Academics in the country, who focus on gaming, say there is increasing confidence that the issue of casinos will be raised again after the next general election, expected in late 2018. It would be the  most significant step in gaming industry reforms since Thailand became a constitutional monarchy in 1932. 

    Foreign interest seen strong if casinos legalized

    Thailand would be a major draw for foreign investors were it to legalize its casino industry and would likely provide significant competition for other regional jurisdictions, according to panelists at the recent ASEAN Gaming Summit. The Southeast Asian country already has well-established tourist infrastructure pulling in more than 32 million visitors a year, though the real draw would be if locals were allowed to gamble. 

    Non-gaming revenues rise, but offering fails to inspire

    Chinese Premier Li Keqiang praised Macau’s efforts to diversify its economy during a three-day visit last year, but market experts say operators are still trying to get the recipe right when it comes to non-gaming attractions and face an uphill struggle. Revenue from non-gaming has improved, however, Macau is still far from being a destination that will attract visitors for its tourism offering off the casino floor. 

    Sands serves French flavour to whet mainland tourism appetite

    Ask many mainland Chinese what their dream travel destination is and the answer is unlikely to be Macau. According to a survey by CLSA, Macau came bottom out of a list of 21 destinations, with Europe, the U.S. and Australia topping the list. So, could Sheldon Adelson have hit upon a winning formula with his latest resort -- the $2.8 billion Parisian? The property, like its sister next door, aims to bring a little bit of Europe to the Cotai strip, providing a taste of all things French without the lengthy voyage and language complexities.

    Marketing to the masses

    Galaxy Entertainment added to its range of non-gaming attractions in June, opening Macau’s first Apple Store, as operators seek to appeal to a broader market to replace the shrunken VIP sector. Macau now gets around 45 percent of its revenue from the mass sector, up from the low point of 26 percent in 2Q11. Although the mass sector has significantly higher margins than the VIP at 25 percent to 55 percent compared with 10 percent, for most, that shift is still not yet showing through in the bottom line. Getting the marketing message right may be key to tapping the mass market.

    Mass market turns south in Singapore

    Singapore’s two operators are seeking to add more non-gaming attractions to boost growth as income from their casinos continues to drag, with results released this week showing an unexpected drop in mass revenue at Marina Bay Sands.  Casino revenue for the quarter fell 1.6 percent to $556.7 million, with adjusted property EBITDA dropping 1.7 percent to $357 million. The property reported a drop of 29 percent in its rolling chip volume, but more unexpected was the almost 11 percent drop in mass market volume year-on-year. Slot handle gained 6 percent.

    Thailand eyes casino windfall

    Thailand, whose conservative Buddhist society has long been opposed to gambling, has again renewed the debate over legalizing casinos as the government eyes a potential boost to tax revenue and tourism numbers. The discussion comes amid signs the public view may be changing, with surveys pointing to growing support for legal casinos, which could generate more than $2.7 billion in annual tax revenue and boost foreign tourist arrivals by up to 50 percent, according to recent studies, backed by the Thai Excise Department.

    Cotai resorts seen viable, but returns to disappoint

    The multi-billion properties opening up on Macau’s Cotai strip are still likely to be viable, despite the slump in gaming revenue in the territory, though returns will fall far short of the levels expected when the resorts were first planned, analysts say. The six operators are set to almost double their room capacity over the next two years at a time of unprecedented uncertainty for the revenue outlook. 

    2016 – what comes next for Macau and the region?

    Asia Gaming Brief asked its advisors David Green, John English, Luis Mesquita de Melo, Andrew Klebanow and Steve Gallaway, to look ahead and share with us what they believe are the underlying currents for the Asian Gaming industry in 2016. Views may differ but the one common denominator is the shifting of the sands - something will have to give…An end to the IR “arms race," by David Green The strong will survive, by Steve GallawayEnough about the Millennials, by Andrew KlebanowMacau will continue the race to reinvent, by John EnglishThe “golden” gap for emerging jurisdictions,  by Luis Mesquita de Melo 
    Macau casino floor

    Macau casinos putting cost cuts above customer care?

    As Macau’s gross gambling revenue has slumped, operators have been paring costs to the bone to protect margins, with the first casualty usually being spending on marketing and player reinvestment.However, this may be a short-sighted approach that will cost dearly in the longer term. 

    As gaming industry shifts, staff remain a sound investment

    As Macau’s gaming industry sees revenues decrease and high-rollers look to take their money elsewhere, operators have had to shift their focus and resources to capture a bigger slice of the mass market, which includes opening up their non-gaming elements. 

    Macau’s luxury malls look to High Street as clientele changes

    Macau’s retail malls, dominated by the luxury brands favored by high rolling mainland Chinese, are turning to more affordable High Street names as VIP revenue falls, but the shift is unlikely to have a major impact on operators’ profits, analysts say.Although retail revenues have moderated in Macau, the downturn has been less severe than the slump in overall gross gambling revenue, which dropped 36.2 percent in June, declining for the 13th consecutive month. Las Vegas Sands also reported strong growth in its retail operations in Q2, though future success may hinge on getting the brand mix right.  

    Las Vegas Sands eyes Thai casino, but faces uphill battle

    Las Vegas Sands’ Chief Executive Officer, Sheldon Adelson, has offered to spend up to US$6.0 billion on a 450-room entertainment and casino complex in central Bangkok, but local support is far from certain, even though some senior figures have thrown their weight behind legalizing gambling in the Kingdom.

    Are big budget ads money well spent or sledgehammer cracking a nut?

    With Macau gambling revenue falling for the 12th straight month in June and new multi-billion dollar casinos set to double capacity in the territory, it has become more important than ever for operators to find a way to stand out from the crowd -- but does it have to break the budget? Kevin Clayton, chief marketing officer for Galaxy Entertainment Group, cites the old saying “differentiate or die,” to describe the need for the companies to carve out their market niche and shape their brands through the best use of all available marketing tools.

    How will Macau treat casino gaming license renewals?

    The government’s mid-term review of Macau’s six gaming operators is now well underway, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the concessionaires and sub-concessionaires ahead of the expiry of current concessions.Against a backdrop of a year of falling gambling revenue and a crackdown on corruption by mainland China, it has added a further layer of regulatory uncertainty in the market.
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