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Gaming Guru

Cy Ryan
 

Venetian Stock Sale Approved

1 October 2004

CARSON CITY -- The state Gaming Control Board today recommended approval for Las Vegas Sands Corp. to sell up to $575 million in common stock to be used for such things as expansion into the gaming markets in Asia and the United Kingdom. The deal is part of the company's previously announced initial public offering.

The corporation owns the Venetian Casino Resort in Las Vegas, and the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas and has a new casino in Macau, a former Portuguese enclave in China.

Greg Giardano, attorney for the Sands Corporation, said Goldman, Sachs & Co. will be the underwriter of the deal. It must be approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Nevada Gaming Commission that meets Oct. 21.

Brad Stone of the Sands Corporation said the Venetian sold the Grand Canal Shoppes mall for $766 million and is now building a $1.6 billion casino adjacent to the Venetian that will open by March 2007.

William Weidner, president of the corporation, said the Macau casino has completed its first quarter of operation and has lived up to its expectations. He said it started with the "mass market" and will gradually work its way into the high-end play.

The casino has added 160 slot machines to its 520 slot machines in Macau. And its win percentage exceeded $400 last night, which is above the percentage of the Strip casinos.