Sands’ New CEO Goldstein Outlines Plans for Life After Adelson
(Bloomberg) -- Robert Goldstein, promoted on Tuesday to become the full-time chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp., sees a number of potential growth opportunities for the casino giant -- from Macau to online gambling.
“I think you’ll hear some things from us, hopefully over the next 12 months,” Goldstein said Wednesday on a call with investors.
Goldstein succeeded company founder Sheldon Adelson, who died two weeks ago. The 65-year-old plans to continue investing in resort projects already in the works in Singapore and Macau, where the company’s remodeled Londoner hotel opens next month.
The executive, who has worked at Sands for 26 years, expects that renewal of the company’s Macau concession, which expires next year, to involve some commitment by the company to invest more in the region. Sands has already spent $15 billion on its four casinos and other projects.
Goldstein said he had just returned from two days in Texas, where the company could be interested in building a casino if legislators legalize such gambling. He also reiterated his longstanding goal of building in New York City. If either of those opportunities come up, “we would jump in with both feet, if it was the right structure,” he said.
Sands executives said they are still pursuing a potential sale of the company’s resorts in Las Vegas, if they can get an attractive price.
Goldstein said he’d had conversations with Adelson prior to his passing about a potential investment in online betting, something the company founder had long opposed on moral grounds. Sands is the only major U.S. casino operator not pursuing what has been the fastest-growing part of the gambling industry.
“Sheldon, he never questioned the viability” of online betting, Goldstein said. “He questioned the ability to police it properly. We are going to explore it.”
The company, which is tops in market value among casino operators, reported a steep drop in sales and ongoing losses for the fourth quarter, reflecting the continuing impact of the coronavirus on leisure businesses all over the world.
Grant Chum, chief operating officer of the company’s Chinese subsidiary, saw signs of high rollers returning to the region in the past quarter, including strong sales in Sands’ luxury retail stores. Mass-market customer traffic remains weak, he said.
“There is just not sufficient visitation to power all segments of the business,” Chum said.
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