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Watch Out T-Mobile, Sands Is Moving Ahead On Vegas Arena

canals at Venetian Casino Las Vegas

Revenues were down at its Las Vegas properties, but thanks to strong numbers coming out of Asia, Las Vegas Sands Corp. performed a lot better than Wall Street analysts predicted it would in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Now, the company remains steadfastly bullish on Las Vegas, and is continuing plans to build a new arena there.

Thanks to positive numbers from Sands properties in Macau and Singapore, the company announced on an earnings call this week it had posted double-digit percentage increases in revenue and earnings in the fourth quarter of last year.

In fact, Sands reported adjusted net income of $700 million on revenue of $3.44 billion, outperforming Wall Street analysts’ forecasts. Wall Street expected Sands to post $3.27 billion in fourth quarter revenue. In the same period in 2016, Sands reported income of $491 million on revenue of $3.08 billion.

The company’s Las Vegas casino revenue fell 4.6 percent to $124 million. Plus, although its hotel room occupancy increased 1.4 percent to 91.7 percent, room rates were down 3.9 percent to $244 a night, making its hospitality business less profitable.

Net revenue did increase, but only by 2.4 percent. These increases are being attributed primarily to food and beverage sales. It was a down quarter for most of Las Vegas, in part due to effects of the Oct. 1 mass shootings at a music festival near Mandalay Bay. Oct. 1 was the first day of the fourth quarter.

Sands Las Vegas properties include:

  • The Venetian Las Vegas
  • Palazzo Las Vegas
  • Sands Expo & Convention Center

Las Vegas Sands numbers up in Asia

However, the company’s numbers were lifted by tremendous success at its Macau properties and Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands.

Sands Macau properties include:

  • Venetian Macau
  • Sands MacauThe Plaza Macau
  • Sands Cotai Central
  • The Parisian Macau

Combined, these properties saw net income jump 49.1 percent to $519 million in the quarter. In the meantime, the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore saw revenue increase 14.1 percent to $825 million. In fact, the fourth quarter finished up a record year for Marina Bay Sands.

Despite the dip in Las Vegas numbers, Sands Founder and CEO Sheldon Adelson remains bullish on Las Vegas and is moving forward with plans to build a new arena and entertainment venue.

New Las Vegas arena to open in 2020

On the earnings call, Sands President and COO Rob Goldstein said further information about the 18,500-seat music venue, a joint-venture with Madison Square Garden, would be released in February. In the meantime, he confirmed construction will start this summer and wrap up sometime in 2020.

The site for the new arena is east of the Sands Expo and Convention Center and south of the Wynn Golf Club, where construction on the Wynn Paradise Park hotel and lagoon project is already underway.

“It’s going to be quite an arena,” Goldstein said. “You’ll see something that’s pretty spectacular.”

Goldstein echoed Adelson’s sentiments regarding Las Vegas and its future prospects:

“It’s a great place to live and work, the growth is returning to Las Vegas. It’s more of a lodging-based market than it has been in the past. The (Vegas Golden Knights) hockey is just terrific and pro football (the Raiders) is coming. So why not? Las Vegas has some great days ahead of it.”

Adelson and Las Vegas Sands Corp. remain opposed to legal and regulated online gambling in the US on moral grounds. Adelson has long claimed online gambling is too easily accessible to minors, intoxicated, and mentally challenged people, despite growing evidence proving otherwise.

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Martin Derbyshire

About

Martin Derbyshire is an award-winning journalist, video and film producer with a decade of experience covering the brick and mortar casino, poker and iGaming industries. He has produced content for top media outlets including PokerNews, Bluff Magazine and PokerListings, and has crossed the globe scooping stories and interviewing major players in all corners of the high-stakes gambling world.

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