Posts Tagged ‘Las Vegas Sands’

Ex-Sands exec Weidner attacked in Japan role

September 2, 2021

Wakayama Palace stands tall in the prefecture bidding for a Japan casino license. (Photo courtesy Wakayama Prefecture Govt)

Former Las Vegas Sands president and COO William Weidner may be the most accomplished gaming executive still in the business. Weidner’s 14 years with LVS included building its Vegas Strip Venetian complex, gaining entry to Macau, developing Cotai as world’s most lucrative casino cluster, winning a license in Singapore and conceiving what’s become the world’s most admired integrated resort there. So Weidner provided instant credibility when he joined Canadian private equity investor Clairvest’s effort to win an integrated resort license in Wakayama Prefecture near Osaka.

Perhaps, then, it shouldn’t be surprising that Weidner came under attack via anonymous documents recounting legal settlements of US government charges against Las Vegas Sands during his tenure. The documents may aim to weaken Wakayama’s IR bid, but it’s equally likely they stem from a long running dispute involving Weidner’s Global Gaming Asset Management firm and Philippine billionaire Enrique Razon’s Bloomberry Resorts, or a Taiwan’s American Asian Entertainment’s US$12 billion lawsuit against LVS over termination of their Macau partnership, in which Weidner was a leading actor but is not a party to the litigation.

In any case, the attack is another ugly aspect of Japan’s casino legalization saga that has limited public support and gotten the cold shoulder from leading international casino companies and Japan’s largest cities and tourist destinations.

Former US diplomat and broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a columnist for ICE 365, a contributor to Forbes and Inside Asian Gaming, columnist/correspondent for Asia Times, 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.

Las Vegas Sands, Genting avert Strip rematch

July 14, 2021

Genting Group opened Resorts World Las Vegas on the Strip in June amid a strong rebound in Sin City. (Photo courtesy of Paul Steelman.)

Las Vegas Sands and Genting looked set to extend their Singapore competition to the Vegas Strip. But three months ahead of Genting opening US$4.3 billion Resorts World Las Vegas in June, LVS announced a deal selling its Las Vegas resorts and convention center to focus on Asia .

This pair of casino giants, whose Singapore properties Marina Bay Sands and Resorts Wold Sentosa rank among the most lucrative integrated resorts on earth, could square off elsewhere. Asia is an obvious pick, though given the paucity of new opportunities in the region, it’s just as likely LVS and Genting could open a new chapter of their rivalry in New York or Texas.

Former US diplomat and broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a columnist for ICE 365, a contributor to Forbes and Inside Asian Gaming, columnist/correspondent for Asia Times, 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.

In March, Las Vegas Sands announced sale of its flagship Venetian complex to focus on Asia. (Company provided photo)

Billions made Adelsons political VIPs

February 19, 2021
Sheldon Adelson and Dr Miriam Adelson (center) at the April 2012 opening of Sands Cotai Central with then Macau Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai-on (left) and then Las Vegas Sands president and COO Michael Leven.

My retrospective on Las Vegas Sands founder Sheldon Adelson, who died last month, has been published in the February issue of Inside Asian Gaming. It’s accompanied by a look at how Adelson and his wife, born Miriam Farbstein in Tel Aviv in 1945, used their billions to change the course of politics in Israel and the United States. Dr Miriam Adelson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2018 from Donald Trump for her work combating substance abuse and support for Jewish causes, after the couple gave more than $100 million to support Trump and his agenda.

As forecast here, new chairman and CEO Rob Goldstein announced on the company’s earnings call on January 27 that LVS is exploring online gaming.

Former US diplomat and broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a contributor to Forbes and Inside Asian Gaming, columnist/correspondent for Asia Times, 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.

Sheldon Adelson death may move LVS online

January 13, 2021
LVS founder Sheldon Adelson brought Paris, Venice and London to Macau, the world’s most admired urban integrated resort to Singapore and conventions to Las Vegas.

The passing of Las Vegas Sands founder and megabillionaire Sheldon Adelson is expected to have little impact on the casino industry leader’s business. Sands President and COO Rob Goldstein will be the successor, at least for now.

A 25 year LVS veteran who successfully ran the company during Adelson’s 2019 cancer treatment and took the reins again last week when Adelson went on medical leave, Goldstein has the trust of Adelson’s widow, LVS controlling shareholder Dr Miriam Adelson, and of Wall Street. Sands CFO Patrick Dumont, married to Dr Adelson’s daughter, looms as a potential favorite son-in-law candidate for leadership, but the Israeli-born physician and her offspring are believed more focused on their native country’s politics than boardroom intrigue. Of course, new circumstances may change that and more.

Adelson spoke out forcefully against online gambling, citing the difficulties of policing it and highlighting its potential to undermine the billions invested in integrated resorts, as online shopping has done to department stores and shopping malls. Adelson’s passing increases the likelihood that LVS will join the casino industry’s march toward online play.

Staunch opposition to drug abuse – one of Adelson’s sons died of a drug overdose and Dr Adelson’s research centers on drug addiction – likely means that LVS will continue to hold out against marijuana use in casinos, regardless of any eventual industry consensus, as long as the Adelson family controls the company.

Adelson’s wealth made him one of the largest and most important political donors in the US and Israel. Adelson and I had our disagreements, but he did far more good than most of the politicians he bankrolled, a largely odious lineup that includes Benjamin Netanyahu, Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is editor at large for Inside Asian Gaming, a contributor to Forbes, columnist/correspondent for Asia Times, 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.

New Macau leader faces casino license expiry

September 27, 2019

Incoming Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng will preside over the expiration of Macau’s casino concessions in 2022. Beijing didn’t select Ho to rock the boat, good news for the current licensees that have invested billions to create the world’s largest casino hub. But they should be careful, not cocky.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes, editor at large for Inside Asian Gaming 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.

Yokohama casino contest draws Adelson, Sands

September 6, 2019

Las Vegas Sands, led by multibillionaire Sheldon Adelson, heads the charge to win an integrated resort license in Japan’s second largest city, Yokohama, the most attractive casino site available in the vicinity of Tokyo so far. The Japanese capital itself has been mum to date on the casino question, focusing instead on the 2020 Olympic Games.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes, editor at large for Inside Asian Gaming 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.

Singapore gets what it wants from casinos

June 12, 2019

Singapore got an image makeover and economic boost by mandating key attractions to surround casinos, a plan Japan and Macau hope to emulate in their upcoming casino licensing exercises.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes, editor at large for Inside Asian Gaming 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.

Osaka sets Japan casino pace

June 4, 2019

The largest city in Japan that’s declared it’s seeking an integrated resort with a casino, Osaka wants to open the multi-billion dollar entertainment complex before World Expo 2025 debuts, a squeeze that gets tighter by the day.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes, editor at large for Inside Asian Gaming 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.

Singapore casino growth carries steep price

April 22, 2019

Amid stagnating revenue, Singapore’s casino resorts get permission to expand but must invest a combined US$6.6 billion and endure substantial tax increases in return.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes, editor at large for Inside Asian Gaming 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 March revenue falls, and investors love it

April 4, 2019

Casino shares rallied in the US and Hong Kong after Macau reported gaming revenue fell 0.4% in March, beating expectations of a much worse showing. But the real story remains behind the numbers.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes, editor at large for Inside Asian Gaming 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.


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