Founded in 1988, Las Vegas Sands runs some of the world’s largest integrated resorts in places such as Las Vegas, Macau, and Singapore. It pioneered a convention-based marketing strategy which allows the company to attract business travelers during the slower midweek periods while focusing on leisure travelers during peak visitation. Its Marina Bay Sands property, which opened in 2010, is the largest in Singapore and is widely viewed as one of the most iconic properties in Asia.
Las Vegas Sands is widely regarded as one of the strongest candidates to gain a license to operate a major urban IR in Japan, particularly as the Marina Bay Sands facility in Singapore represents the clearest inspiration for Japan to develop its own IR industry.
Family Name: Adelson
Given Name: Sheldon
Role: Chairman and CEO
Profile: Arguably the most powerful individual in the gaming industry, Adelson is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Las Vegas Sands, largely credited with having developed the highly successful model of IR development based on MICE facilities. He is also a multi-billionaire who donates large sums of money to political campaigns in the United States and elsewhere.
Family Name: Goldstein
Given Name: Robert
Role: President & Chief Operating Officer
Profile: Goldstein joined Las Vegas Sands in 1995 and worked his way up the executive ranks until attaining his current positions in 2015. He has considerable experience in the gaming operations dimension of Sands' business. The project with which he is most associated is The Venetian in Las Vegas.
Family Name: Tanasijevich
Given Name: George
Role: Managing Director, Global Development; President and CEO of Marina Bay Sands
Profile: Tanasijevich has been the president and CEO of Marina Bay Sands, as well as managing director of global development at Las Vegas Sands, since 2011. He previously worked at CapitaLand Limited (Singapore) and General Growth Properties (United States). Although physically based in Singapore, Tanasijevich has been leading Las Vegas Sands' efforts to gain a license in the Japanese market.
Family Name: Dumont
Given Name: Patrick
Role: Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer
Profile: Beginning his career in investment banking at firms such as Miller Buckfire and Bear Stearns, Dumont joined Las Vegas Sands in 2010. He was appointed Chief Financial Officer in 2016 and also sits on the company's Board of Directors. Also, he is Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson's son-in-law.
From last November, when Osaka won its bid to host the 2025 World Expo, until August of this year, when Yokohama announced that it was entering the race, Osaka Yumeshima was looking like it would become host to the grandest and most successful IR in Japan.
Las Vegas Sands executives told an earnings conference call that they are focusing attention on their Yokohama bid, which they envision will involve an investment of US$10-12 billion.
Melco Resorts & Entertainment announced on Wednesday that it would focus its IR campaign on Yokohama and that it was suspending its participation in bidding for the Osaka Yumeshima location.
MGM Resorts took the opportunity of the local withdrawal of a major rival, Las Vegas Sands, to reaffirm that its IR bid in Japan was clearly focused on Osaka Yumeshima.
The official announcement by Mayor Fumiko Hayashi that Yokohama would enter the IR race in earnest has set off a scramble among major IR operators, with Las Vegas Sands announcing that it was completely abandoning its efforts to partner with the Osaka government and Melco announcing its intention to open a Yokohama office with a new executive in charge.
Las Vegas Sands has announced that it has become a top-tier sponsor for the Summer Sonic 2019 rock music festival to be held at Osaka’s Maishima Sonic Park for three days from August 16.
Previewing the kind of facility which may eventually be available in Japanese IRs, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore has opened a luxury Japanese restaurant called KOMA, which has a capacity to host over three hundred people.
The six major IR operators in Macau are directly employing more than 108,000 people as of 2018, according to a survey made by Macau Business magazine.
Las Vegas Sands’ Managing Director for Global Development George Tanasijevich has offered the clearest statement yet that his firm is now following MGM Resorts in pursuing an “Osaka First” strategy.
Las Vegas Sands sale of Sands Bethlehem in Pennsylvania at the end of May was partially related to the firm’s intention to refocus its energies on Asia, with the IR licensing bid in Japan a key objective, according to some analysts.
It has recently become possible to understand with increased clarity which IR operators will be bidding for Japan’s two major markets—the Kanto and the Kansai—and where each of them are now focusing.
Las Vegas Sands President and Chief Operations Officer Robert Goldstein said he believes Osaka to be the only city in Japan suitable for a large-scale IR with “millions” of square feet of convention space, and thousands of hotel rooms.
SJM Holdings Chair and Executive Director Daisy Ho gave the opening address at the G2E Asia gaming show on Tuesday, predicting a bright future for Macau as an integral part of China’s Greater Bay Area plan.
In an earnings conference call on Wednesday, Las Vegas Sands President and Chief Operating Officer Robert Goldstein spoke enthusiastically about his companies prospects and plans in Japan.
The Singapore government is seen as the main winner in the agreement to allow a US$6.7 billion expansion of the island’s two integrated resorts, gaining more tax and higher money from entry fees, according to analysts.
Singapore has allowed the first major expansion of its integrated resort industry since its two IRs began operating, involving S$9 billion (about US$6.7 billion) new investment in non-gaming amenities, but casino entry fees and taxes will also rise.
Investment analysts are far less optimistic about the prospects for the casino market in Japan than the operators who are pushing hard for a license, warning that returns and gross gambling revenue may fall far short of high expectations.
Las Vegas Sands would apparently like to build the largest IR in Japan, but they are currently unsure whether that entails focusing on the more certain prospect of Osaka, or else waiting for the possible emergence of Tokyo or Yokohama.
Activist investor Carl Icahn again raised his stake in Caesars Entertainment on Monday and is likely to push for a sale of the operator, though Las Vegas Sands is the only one with the funds for a cash-based takeover, Bernstein Research said.
It has been revealed that Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson is undergoing treatment for a form of blood cancer, throwing a dark shadow across his casino empire, including in Asia.
Strong visitation and overall growth in the Macau gaming market led to Sands China posting a 17% increase in profit in 2018, reaching US$1.9 billion. Sheldon Adelson, chairman and CEO of Sands China, said the company experienced growth in every segment in Macau.
Las Vegas Sands, whose campaign in Japan has been very low-profile in recent months, emerged back into the public light on Wednesday with Managing Director for Global Development George Tanasijevich speaking at an Osaka seminar as well as giving an interview with the local branch of the Sankei Shinbun.
Police in Macau are probing the fatal stabbing of a 41-year-old man from mainland China in Sands China’s Conrad Hotel.
Las Vegas Sands reported weaker-than-expected results for the fourth quarter of 2018, causing its stock to tumble. Net revenue in 201818Q4 rose 2.5 percent, reaching US$3.48 billion, which fell short of Wall Street estimates.
The US Justice Department’s unusual reversal of policy which may effectively ban online gambling follows millions of dollars in lobbying by Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson.
Atlantic City, New Jersey, is beginning to look to Las Vegas and the “non-gaming revenue model” as the key to its future, according to a recent article in the Press of Atlantic City. This development has implications for the future of Japanese IRs as well.
A team of Las Vegas Sands senior executives led by President and COO Robert Goldstein became the first IR operators to hold a meeting with Osaka Governor Ichiro Matsui and Osaka Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura since Osaka won its bid to host the 2025 World Expo.
Sands China is likely to be the key driver for Las Vegas Sands for the next few years as it benefits from the increasing size of the mass market, according to an in-depth analysis of the group by Bernstein Research.
At least three of four of the major US casino operators will continue to rely on Macau as their growth engine over the next five years, said Bernstein in a note. These companies include Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands, and to some extent, MGM Resorts.
The development of the homely man-made island of Yumeshima in Osaka Bay into a glittering center of international attention has progressed from just an ambitious prospect to an impending reality now that the Bureau International des Expositions has agreed that the 2025 World Expo will be hosted there.
All four Las Vegas-based operators which are in the hunt for an IR license in Japan reported strong financial results in the July-September period.
Systemic shifts in the long-term relationship between China and the United States are underway, with the two economic superpowers charting an increasingly divergent path, and the change in course may have major implications for Macau’s operators, according to a leading risk consultancy.
Sands China, which operates The Venetian, Parisian and Sands Cotai Central IRs in Macau, posted 2018Q3 results that were in line with market expectations and expressed confidence in the long-term prospects for the gambling hub.
Some of Macau’s operators on Wednesday celebrated the first trips across the new Hong Kong-Macau-Zhuhai bridge, which is expected to drastically improve accessibility to the gambling hub.
The selection of Ado Machida to front Hard Rock’s effort to win an IR license in Japan highlights a trend that was already clearly visible—some US operators are attempting to leverage in a not-too-subtle fashion the military and security links between Washington and Tokyo.
Although not a new story, a ProPublica article published this week about US President Donald Trump’s February 2017 advice to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to select Las Vegas Sands for one of the Japanese casino licenses has ricocheted across both the international and Japanese-language news media, bringing the matter much more scrutiny than had previously been the case.
Macau’s IRs are keen to highlight their commitment to returning to the community, with Melco Resorts & Entertainment and Sands China on Wednesday showcasing their efforts in corporate social responsibility.
Nearly 100 Sands China team members attended the company’s annual advanced responsible gaming training program, which is the only one in Macau offered in coordination with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Macau’s operators announced Monday they were mobilizing staff to help with the cleanup efforts after Typhoon Mangkhut, which swept through the territory at the weekend forcing the closure of casinos for the first time since concessions were granted in 2002.
One of the unintended effects of the opening of IRs in Japan in the mid-2020s may be to force the Japanese government to allow more foreign workers into the country, the Sankei Shinbun pointed out this weekend.
This week Sands Resorts Macao is holding events in Tokyo and Osaka to salute its Japanese business partners, particularly the travel agencies and other companies that drive Japanese tourists to Sands’ hospitality facilities such as The Venetian and The Parisian.
On Wednesday, Japan Casino School, with the cooperation of Marina Bay Sands, held a seminar for about fifteen journalists in central Tokyo, aiming to deepen their understanding of what the development of the IR industry might mean for Japan.
Two major US operators, Las Vegas Sands and MGM Resorts, delivered press releases hailing the passage of the IR Implementation Act shortly after it occurred on Friday night.
Sands China is highlighting its support for Macau’s local business community with a roadshow for two small-to-medium sized enterprises.
Las Vegas Sands quietly became the fifth international IR operator to throw its weight behind Osaka’s bid to become host of the 2025 World Expo at the city’s Yumeshima location.
The evening tabloid Nikkan Gendai, a stalwart of train station kiosks with a daily circulation said to be in excess of 1.6 million, spelled out in a recent article the conspiracy theory regarding US President Donald Trump and the establishment of IRs in Japan that seems to have exercised a degree of influence over the national political debate.
Sands China’s Venetian property has been given a Green Hotel Platinum Award, the first and only in Macau to receive the top designation.
Nightclub brand Marquee will make its Asian debut at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore as part of a series of new initiatives designed to boost the resort as a nightlife destination.
Tetsuya Shiokawa, a seven-term House of Representatives lawmaker of the Japan Communist Party, has been arguing repeatedly that the Japanese government has changed the shape of the IR Implementation Bill to suit the preferences of powerful American businessmen—and he’s not pleased about it.
Macau gaming operators Sands, Melco, and Galaxy are best placed to capitalize on the rise of the Chinese premium market, according to Bernstein Research.