Posts Tagged ‘Las Vegas Sands’

Venetian Macao places Sheldon Adelson atop Asian Gaming 50 again this year

September 29, 2014

Venetian Macao is overwhelming, not necessarily in a good way. Check in and they expect you to drag your own bags to your room, most easily reached through the casino. Due to the resort’s huge size – it’s bigger than the Pentagon – getting anywhere is a pain, frequently starting with the walk from the elevator to your room. Rooms are generously sized and furnished, but there’s a step between the sleeping and sitting area that’s a broken toe or ankle waiting to happen. Despite those issues and many others, Venetian Macao is the main reason that Sheldon Adelson tops the Asian Gaming 50 from Inside Asian Gaming magazine again this year.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

Activist/author Pisani sees a place for corruption

September 17, 2014

At TEDx Ubud earlier this month, author and activist Elizabeth Pisani highlighted how corruption fits into social and political contexts, a vexing issue for US companies doing business overseas. Pisani, who will also appear next month’s Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, also noted that corruption isn’t always about self-enrichment.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

Japan tiptoes toward casinos

June 20, 2014

Legislators took another small step toward legalizing casinos in Japan this week. Backers hope so-called integrated resorts will open in time for the 2020 Olympics, but the political and bureaucratic process will be a marathon, not a sprint.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

Investors demand more from Macau

June 5, 2014

Macau’s gaming revenue rose 9.3 percent year-on-year in May to more than $4 billion, the fifth highest monthly total ever. That news sparked a brutal selloff in Macau casino shares, as investors expected even better numbers. Some analysts insist sellers are missing Macau’s big picture.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

Sands Macao: The house that built Sheldon Adelson

May 15, 2014

Ten years ago, Las Vegas Sands founder and nine-figure political donor Sheldon Adelson was a Strip B-lister who’d stumbled into the casino business, scrambling to pay the interest on his junk bonds. Then, in May 2004, Adelson opened Sands Macao, Asia’s first American style casino, and he got richer faster than anyone ever. Sands Macao is the house that built Sheldon Adelson.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

Sands Macao transformed Macau, Adelson, world

May 13, 2014

The future of the global casino business, Sheldon Adelson and Macau began on May 18, 2004, the day they broke down the doors for the opening of Sands Macao.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

Macau stocks: expect a wild ride

May 7, 2014

Wells Fargo Securities analyst Cameron McKnight forecasts a “choppy” year ahead for Macau casino stocks. But for true believers, sharp drops represent buying opportunities.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

Sands Cotai opens in falling Macau tide

September 24, 2012

The world’s biggest Sheraton hotel opened at Sands Cotai Central last week, part of the Macau resort’s second phase that includes a South Pacific themed casino and dozens more retail shops. I covered the phase one opening in April, including an up close and personal encounter with Sheldon Adelson, the chairman of Sands China and its parent company, Las Vegas Sands.

I’ll be writing more about Sands Cotai Central (SCC) for Asia Times and about Macau casino trends for Macau Business magazine in the weeks ahead.

Until then, consider that SCC has opened into the teeth of a rare run of slowing casino revenue growth in Macau. The situation resembles conditions facing the 2009 opening of City of Dreams, SCC’s neighbor on the east side of Cotai’s main boulevard, across the Venetian Macao.

In 2009, the main problem was restricted visas for mainland travelers. In the three years since, Macau has become even more dependent on mainland visitors, and now it’s seeing slowing growth in step with China’s decelerating economy. For better or worse, analysts see Macau resorts becoming more closely tied to the mainland economy in the years ahead. Rather than spreading their bets, it seems Macau’s casinos have doubled down on the mainland.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

Macau bribe tale winds toward Beijing, Vegas

July 18, 2012

Last month, just after the great and good of the casino industry gathered for Global Gaming Expo Asia in Macau, the Wall Street Journal showcased the world casino capital’s shady side. The newspaper reported that Macau lawyer and legislator Leonel Alves passed along a $300 million bribe request to casino operator Sands China from a “high ranking” Beijing official.

I wrote that the report raises more questions than it answers. Among other things, I suggested the Beijing angle on the bribe could be camouflage for local graft; Alves, who’s been all over the place in his explanations, said in a recent radio interview that there was a Macau developer involved. My Asia Times article also suggested potential legal troubles for Sands China and parent company Las Vegas Sands stemming from the incident, even though it’s clear that the proposed bribe was not paid.

Answers are emerging thanks to a ProPublica investigation of Alves and his relationship with Sands China. The probe leads straight to Sands China chairman, Las Vegas Sands founder and my press conference pal, Sheldon Adelson, a key Republican and Likud Party benefactor. Stay tuned.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com, follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

Hard ten coming for casinos in Macau

June 26, 2012

This week marks the tenth anniversary of the real start of Macau’s gaming liberalization. The contracts that brought American casino operators Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands to Macau were signed in late June 2002.

Less than two years later, the first Vegas-style casino, Sands Macao, opened. Macau was on its way to becoming the world’s largest gaming destination, with more than five times the casino revenue of Las Vegas last year. Casino operators have pocketed billions in profits from their Macau operations.

It’s been an easy ten years since liberalization, but now Macau casinos face a difficult decade ahead. They must contend with increasing competition from other Asian gaming destinations and among themselves. There’s also uncertainty about the continued flow of players across the border from mainland China, by far Macau’s main market, as Beijing goes through a wrenching leadership change.

But most of all, the casinos must handle the uncertainty of license renewal. As I wrote in Asia Times, gaming concessions will expire by June 2022, giving the Macau government more leverage to demand more from the casinos now. There also a chance that licenses won’t be renewed for one or more of the current concessionaires, most likely an American one, and no clear timeline or guidelines on the criteria for renewal. For casinos, that adds up to a lot of gray hairs and brown noses in the decade ahead.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com.


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