As mentioned in the introduction: Some of the gambling establishments belonging to the Sands group were already selling rumors a few weeks ago. These said that shortly before his death, Adelson had considered selling the Venetian Resort Las Vegas more seriously. At the time, Hard Rock International and MGM Resorts were considered potential buyers.
Barely two months after Adelson’s death due to protracted cancer, things are now a little different, as US investment companies Apollo Global Management and Vici Properties have bought the Venetian and the Sands Expo and Convention Center.
The casino operator Las Vegas Sands is withdrawing from the gambling city of Las Vegas. The sale of the Venetian must have been bittersweet, because its genesis is a very special one: Inspired by the gondolas in Venice during his honeymoon, Adelson came up with the idea of building a hotel resort with Venetian flair. The luxury Venetian Resort Hotel was built in the year of the trip.
It’s a billion dollar deal
The purchase price is $ 6.25 billion. An amount that is a huge number even for extremely well-positioned corporations. In order to raise the amount required to sell the gaming facilities, Vici Properties and Apollo Global Management have come together and have agreed that they will acquire unequal shares in the property. Apollo is raising $ 2.25 billion for the purchase, of which $ 1.05 billion will be put on the table in cash and $ 1.2 billion will be borrowed. Vici is paying a whopping $ 4 million from his cash reserves.
Apollo Global Management is working hard to establish itself in the area of gambling. In 2020, for example, the financial company acquired a 12% stake in SAZKA, a Czech gaming group, which also largely owns shares in Casinos Austria. In court for William Hill, the well-known bookmaker from Great Britain, Apollo suffered a defeat against Caesars Entertainment. The company had offered $ 2.9 billion for William Hill.
What are the reasons behind the sale?
With this sale, the Sands management wants to focus more on its business in Asia, concentrate on reinvestments there, withdraw from the business in the USA and pursue growth opportunities in new markets. The Sands Macao and the Venetian Macao Resort Hotel as well as the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore are among Adelson’s activities in the Asian region. The casino resorts in Macau and Singapore made a significant contribution to the commercial success of Las Vegas Sands in 2020 and generated 79.5% of the Group’s total revenue.
Under Robert Goldstein, Adelson’s successor and the new CEO of Las Vegas Sands, the company could soon break new ground and explore the terrain online. Adelson was known not to be a fan but rather an opponent of online gambling. He was well aware of its business potential, but still decided to turn away from online gambling for ethical reasons. He was particularly concerned about gambling addiction, which in his opinion technology cannot avoid.
Since Goldstein, unlike Adelson, does not question the ethics of online gambling, entering the online market could be an option for the group. There are no actual decisions and no concrete plans. Nevertheless, with the sale of the Venetian and the Sands Expo and Convention Center, there are now sufficient funds available to enter the New York gaming market, for example. Because online sports betting is already allowed. Entering the Texan market would also be an option.