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Howard Stutz

LV Sands to lay off more than 200

12 December 2008

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Las Vegas Sands Corp. plans to lay off 216 workers from the Venetian and Palazzo resorts today, a company spokesman confirmed late Thursday evening.

The job reductions, part of an overall effort by the financially troubled gaming company, will cover about 2 percent of the casinos' 10,000-employee work force, Las Vegas Sands spokesman Ron Reese said.

During Las Vegas Sands' third-quarter earnings conference call in November, Executive Vice President Rob Goldstein said the casino operator began "an extensive cost-cutting program" during the quarter that was targeting $100 million in reductions.

Goldstein said the company was reducing its work force and changing various programs, policies and procedures.

"The cumulative result will end up in the second quarter of (2009 and) will be about $100 million of cost savings," Goldstein at the time. "We think (that) will insulate us if there's continued downturn on the revenue side. We still (have to) guarantee we can hit our projections on the (cash flow) targets for 2009."

Reese said Las Vegas Sands laid off about 50 employees last month. Additional cutbacks, he said, could take place.

Last month, Las Vegas Sands raised more than $2.1 billion in new capital and had two separate cash infusions from company Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson and his family to avoid defaulting on $5.2 billion in loans.

The company also slowed its development, including stopping construction of a $600 million condominium high-rise being built between the Venetian and Palazzo.

About 11,000 construction workers in Macau lost their jobs in November when the company stopped construction of several projects on the Cotai Strip.

Shares of Las Vegas Sands, which have lost some 95 percent of their value in the past year, closed Thursday at $5.81.