Posted on: March 14, 2022, 09:15h.
Last updated on: March 14, 2022, 09:32h.
Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) CEO Rob Goldstein says the gaming company is in discussions with a major Asian country about bringing an integrated resort on par with Marina Bay Sands to that nation.
The Sands boss made the comments last Friday in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, noting a lot of Asian countries have reached out to the operator over the years. But “this one feels like it might be a major prospect.”
I don’t want to say where, but we’ve had some rather interesting conversations with a major country there that has reached out to us,” said Goldstein in the interview with the Review-Journal’s Richard Velotta.
Sands recently completed the $6.25 billion sale of its home city assets — Venetian, Palazzo and Venetian Expo — meaning its portfolio is comprised of five integrated resorts in Macau and Marina Bay Sands (MBS) in Singapore.
Let the Speculation Begin
With Goldstein declining to identify the country that approached Sands, analysts and industry observers will likely have a field day attempting to identify which Asian nation is talking with the gaming company.
Obviously, Macau and Singapore are off the list, because the former is pushing operators to offer more non-gaming amenities, while the latter’s gaming laws allow for just two integrated resorts, which it has in the form of MBS and Resorts World Sentosa. The country probably isn’t Japan, either, as it’s been almost two years since Sands halted its pursuit of a gaming permit there.
The Philippines, South Korea, and Vietnam all have casinos. But it’s questionable as to whether any of those markets offer the scale Sands is looking for. LVS has previously been tied to Australia rumors, but nothing came of that speculation.
In January, rival Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) announced plans for an integrated resort on Al-Marjan Island in the United Arab Emirates, which is on the Asian continent.
“So it’s something that we will continue to watch and look at. But there are a lot of high quality markets that are available to our company,” said CFO Patrick Dumont on Sands’ fourth-quarter earnings conference call.
Why Geographic Diversification Matters for LVS
As noted above, the current entirety of the Las Vegas Sands portfolio is MBS and five Macau venues, with the latter continuing to weigh on the stock.
Amid a new coronavirus travel shutdown in mainland China, shares of LVS — the largest Macau operator — are off 10 percent today. That means that not only has the stock given up all its gains from earlier this year, when clarity on Macau gaming policy emerged, it also means the shares sank to a new 52-week low.
In other words, adding a venue or two outside of Macau could be a long-term benefit for LVS and its shareholders. On that note, Goldstein told the Review-Journal the company continues mulling domestic opportunities, including Florida, New York, and Texas.