Rob Goldstein, the CEO of Las Vegas Sands (LVS), has made an appearance at Bernstein’s 38th Annual Strategic Decisions Conference and stated that it won’t take long before Macau rebounds from the consequences caused by the pandemic. He also commented on the license situation in Macau, stating that the issue is tolerable.
China’s Zero COVID-19 Policy Made Things Hard for Macau Casino Concessionaires
As a way to tackle the pandemic, China’s authorities introduced the zero COVID-19 policy, which made it impossible for people to travel to Macau. This was a major problem for casino concessionaires as they were unable to rely on tourist casino revenue.
To make things even worse, the license renewal process was blocked and it was unclear whether operators would be able to offer their services legally. However, they ended up paying $5.83 million to extend their licenses throughout 2022.
These restrictions are frustrating to executives, Goldstein included. However, during the conference, Goldstein noted he’s a “huge believer in China” and is confident that the market will resurrect. Goldstein also stated that the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore is likely to return to its pre-pandemic levels before the full reopening in China occurs. Back in February, it was also announced that MBS will receive $1 billion in a reinvestment plan.
Las Vegas Sands May Open an IR in Asia
During an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Goldstein made an announcement that Las Vegas Sands may build an MBS-scaled resort in a top-tier country in Asia. Although he did not reveal any details, he stated that this country is a “major prospect” and that he hopes that the negotiations will materialize.
Goldstein also mentioned the state of the Macau market in the interview and said that the situation there is challenging. He noted that LVS has invested around $15 billion there, more than any other operator and that the company hopes to invest even more once the market bounces back.
Recently, Las Vegas Sands Crop shared its report concerning the first quarter of 2022 and its net revenue was $943 million, more than $200 million lower than the $1.2 billion in the first quarter of 2021. The casino division of the company was responsible for $627 million of the total revenue. Goldstein noted that despite COVID-19 restrictions, the entity had positive EBITDA.
However, the company reported a quarterly loss of $0.40 per share, which is a bit higher than the $0.25 loss per share in the same period in 2021. Goldstein commented on the Q1 report by saying that Las Vegas Sands is expected to grow in the coming period as its operations in Singapore and Macau will bounce back.