A move for entering the online gaming industry was long been rejected by Las Vegas Sands’ late chairman Sheldon Adelson. His deputy Rod Goldstein is taking the lead on this potential new expansion.
According to Bloomberg, Goldstein is currently in discussion, that could result in Las Vegas Sands finally entering the online sports betting industry.
LVS already started the year with important announcement. Last week a rumor was spread for two of the potential buyers for Venetian and Palazzo, a deal that will allow LVS to focus more on its over-seas assets in Macau and Singapore.
Previous attempts to stop online gaming
Adelson has long led campaigns against internet gaming by organizing groups, such as the Coalition to Stop Internet Gaming (CSIG). The rationale behind such an opposition is the argument that web-based games’ evolution could lead to substantial losses for gamblers, as well as to an increased level of addiction.
Because of Adelson’s position, since the 2018 Supreme Court ruling on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), LVS turns out to be the only major US casino operator to avoid, completely deliberately, online sports betting exposure.
Its rival companies MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment and even Wynn Resorts are already long-time players in the fast-growing industry. This is most likely the reason behind LVH’s change of position.
In the meantime, Las Vegas Sands confines its sports wagering offering to a William Hill sportsbook at the Venetian.
Regarding the potential online offerings, the Investments co-founder of RoundHill, Will Hersley said in an interview that Las Vegas Sands “may look to partner with an existing operator, perhaps via direct investment, rather than trying to play catch-up to the likes of FanDuel, BetMGM, and DraftKings”.
According to Hersley, the pandemic has played a huge roll in LVS’ move to enter online, since the coronavirus situation caused the retail operations to suffer.
The potential sale of Venetian Palazzo and Sands Convention Center on the Strip would bring the casino operator a significant amount of money. Since it is one of the operators with the strongest balance sheets, LVS has the capital to take into consideration a sports betting acquisition. For now, there are no existing rumors if the company is considering a takeover as a sports wagering entry.
Sands spreads its influence in the States thanks to the above-mentioned facilities in Las Vegas. In the meantime, its properties in Macau and Singapore assure its positions on the Asian market. If the company decides on selling the Strip venues, it will have enough assets to enter the New York market where sports wagering is permitted, or the Texas market, although the state has limited casino gaming and does not allow sports wagering.
Source: “Las Vegas Sands Eyes Sports Wagering Entry”, Todd Shriber, January 8, 2021
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