Sands CEO shrugs off Macau headwinds

    Sands China CEO Ed Tracy has played down concerns about the impact of a smoking ban and an anti-corruption drive in Macau, the world’s biggest gambling hub.
    In an interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Tracy said he expects a positive year, despite recent figures showing a decline in gross gambling revenue for both June and July as the World Cup distracted gamblers.
    “The corruption clampdown in China is very real and it has articulated itself in the VIP segment… But we are not VIP centric we are mass market centric – so we’ll be impacted the least [compared to other Macau players],” he said.
    “We feel very comfortable with our long-term and short-term strategy – it’s a steady hand on the wheel now.”
    He also said he didn’t believe the anti-smoking ban, which will come into effect in October this year, will have as big an impact in Macau as bans have when they were imposed in other jurisdictions.
    “I don’t think the primary market -which comes from mainland China – come to Macau to smoke. I think they come to Macau to shop, have dining experiences, see the boxing and concert events and gamble,” he told the television station.
    Tracy was speaking after the company delivered record first-half results. Adjusted EBITDA rose 35.7 percent to $1.37 billion, while net revenues increased 24.7 percent to $5.07 billion.