The pandemic turns off the lights in Las Vegas and Sands dumps America’s gambling capital, betting everything on Asia. After revolutionizing the casino industry, the company founded by Sheldon Adelson sells all of its properties in the city – the historic Venetian resort, the Sands Expo and the Convention Center – for $ 6.25 billion. A sale with which he says goodbye to Las Vegas and, at least for the moment, to his American activities by focusing everything on Macau and Singapore, the real growth engine of recent years representing, in 2019 alone, 85% of total revenues.
The agreement provides for the sale of physical assets to Vici Properties for $ 4 billion. Apollo Global Management, on the other hand, manages the properties for 2.25 billion. “The investment shows our belief in a solid Las Vegas recovery with vaccines reviving the entertainment and travel industry,” says Apollo.
For the Strip and Las Vegas, Sands’ exit is a major blow. Their stories are in fact closely linked with Sands who was one of the protagonists of the city revolution under the leadership of Adelson. The founder of Sands anticipated the times and was the first to realize that the potential of the gambling capital was not the casinos but the neighboring hotels, resorts and convention centers. An intuition that changed and expanded the success of Las Vegas, turning it into a destination not only for gaming but for fun, even for families.
After the boom of the city, Adelson aimed at Asia and Macau: a well-placed bet given that Asian activities have now become the backbone of society. Following Adelson’s path, and less than two months after his death, Sands is now betting everything on Asia, where he wants to bolster his investments with the proceeds from the sale. Even if the farewell to Las Vegas effectively translates into a halt to American activities, the States remain in the heart of Sands. The giant does not rule out openings in New York and Texas and is looking with growing interest at online betting, a market in which Adelson has always refused to enter for moral reasons. But Adelson’s passing has opened a new era for Sands, a new chapter in which Asia dominates and online betting could find ample space.