Las Vegas Sands returning to America

Las Vegas Sands Corporation (LVS) is eyeing future sites in New York, Texas, and Florida amid a potential return to the US market.

Marina Bay Sands in Singapore has been the company’s top grosser

LVS closed a deal on February 23 that saw the longtime prominent Vegas company sell The Venetian, Palazzo, and the Venetian Expo Center for $6.25bn. Since then, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore has been the company’s top grosser, with Macau-based locations still reeling from the COVID pandemic.

The company shared its interest in creating new American properties during a first quarter earnings call on Wednesday. A decision has not been formalized yet.

Costs and responses

LVS reported $943m in net revenue, down from 2021’s first-quarter total of $1.2bn; operation loss grew to $302m from $96m the year prior. The overall net loss from operations also ballooned to $478m compared to $280m from 2021’s first quarter.

Property earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) were $110m, up more than 45% from last year’s first-quarter sum. LVS also noted that Marina Bay Sands individually reported a positive EBITDA.

“Our results continue to reflect the pandemic’s impact,” said chairman and chief executive officer Robert Goldstein. “Travel restrictions suppressed visitation in our financial results in both Macau and Singapore. The good news in Singapore is that travel corridors established last quarter have been replaced with the introduction of the vaccinated-traveler framework, which will allow vaccinated travelers to enter Singapore in much the same way as prior to the pandemic.”

the company wants to rejoin the American market while maintaining its Asian interests

In addition, Goldstein shared that the company wants to rejoin the American market while maintaining its Asian interests. This was one major question for the company’s future, alongside its presence in the online gambling space.

“We’re going to build out our digital presence and explore multiple opportunities,” Goldstein said. “[New York has] been on the radar for a long time and we continue to be in the hunt there.”

Planning the next steps

February’s massive sale of LVS’ Vegas properties caused a shift in the market; for the first time since 1988, the company did not have a presence on the Strip.

However, the earlier sale was done to fund future developments, per LVS president and chief operating officer Patrick Dumont.

“We feel very strongly about our development capabilities and our ability to execute large-scale developments in the market,” said Dumont. “There’s a lot of potential … We’re focused very much on building rather than buying.”

Goldstein doubled down on this sentiment, revealing that LVS’ focus is to build large-scale operating facilities. This rules them out of more reserved regional locations and thereby limits potential building sites, specifically in New York and Texas.

LVS also needs to get past Florida’s legislation limiting gambling influence, an issue they hoped to get on the ballot. 

We failed in Florida recently… but we’re not done with Florida.”

“We failed in Florida recently… but we’re not done with Florida,” Goldstein said. “There are few places we can go to invest the kind of money we want to invest and the kind of returns we want.”

The chairman and CEO also remains hopeful that increased normality will stabilize the Asian market and lead to a greater opportunity for customer acquisition, both in premium and mass-appeal segments.

“We’re confident we’ll return to positive cash flow in both Singapore and Macau in the future as restrictions are eased and travel and tourism recover,” Goldstein said.

LVS officials noted extreme demands for leisure and high-stakes play in Singapore and throughout surrounding areas. LVS feels it is in a “positive beginning” and has a bright future ahead of it in the region.

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