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Best of Howard Stutz

Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz
 

Adelson adds CEO of Sands China to his job description

26 January 2015

LAS VEGAS -- Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman Sheldon Adelson will take over as chief executive of the company’s Macau subsidiary following the retirement of the division’s chairman.

The move comes as Macau — which provides Las Vegas Sands with more than than 65 percent of the company’s overall revenue — is in the midst of its worst gaming slump on record.

In a statement Friday from the company’s Sands China Limited, Adelson, the 81-year-old billionaire and company founder, will replace Edward Tracy, whose retirement was announced in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing this week.

Adelson, who controls more than 53 percent of Las Vegas Sands through personal and family holdings, is also CEO of the parent company. He will take over on March 6. Las Vegas Sands President Rob Goldstein will become interim president of Sands China.

Goldstein, who has been with Las Vegas Sands since 1995, was named company president in December after Michael Leven retired.

According to the SEC filing, Tracy, 62, is expected to remain as a consultant. He had been Sands China CEO for more than three years.

Las Vegas Sands has the largest holdings of the three Nevada-based companies that operate in Macau, including The Venetian Macao Resort-Hotel, Sands Macao, Four Seasons Macau and the multi-hotel Sands Cotai Central complex.

The company is expected to open another hotel on the Sands Cotai site this year and is developing the $2.7 billion Paris-themed The Parisian Macao on Cotai that is expected to open in 2016. In December, the company said it received the final government approvals needed to complete the project, which will have 3,000 hotel rooms and a 50 percent scale replica of the Eiffel Tower.

The company said its total investment in Macau is $10 billion, which includes retail, convention and meeting space and hotel rooms.

“Business strategy has always been decided by Mr. Adelson all this while, so in terms of strategy, I wouldn’t expect any change,” Goh Shengyong, a Hong Kong-based gaming analyst at BNP Paribas told Bloomberg News. “It would be more of re-aligning and getting Macau and Singapore to report directly to Vegas.”

Las Vegas Sands operates the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, which is not part of the changes in Macau.

Overall, Macau’s 35 large and small casinos saw gaming revenue fall 2.6 percent in 2014 to $44.1 billion, the region’s first-ever annual decline.

Macau has experienced seven straight monthly gaming revenue declines, culminating with December’s 30.4 percent dip, the market’s largest-ever monthly drop.

Macau’s casino industry has suffered since June. A crackdown on corruption by the Chinese government has focused on junket operators who bring high-end baccarat gamblers to the casino’s ultraexclusive private gambling rooms. Several operators have been linked to Chinese organized crime triads.

The crackdown has scared away high-end business, which was largely responsible for Macau’s record $45.2 billion gaming revenue total in 2013.

Las Vegas Sands will announce its fourth quarter and year-end results next week. Adelson is expected to address Macau on a conference call with analysts.

During a keynote address at the Global Gaming Expo in October, Adelson expressed his belief that Macau will recover.

“Macau is cyclical. It comes and goes,” Adelson said.
Adelson adds CEO of Sands China to his job description is republished from GamingMeets.com.