Las Vegas Sands: New York casino will be ‘transformational’ for business

The Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum - the site of Las Vegas Sands' proposed New York casino
Image: Leonard Zhukovsky/Shutterstock

Las Vegas Sands (LVS) has highlighted New York as a principal area of future development interest and an “extraordinary and unique opportunity,” as a casino in the state could be “transformational” for the operator.

During the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call, LVS walked through its ambitions for the New York market where they have an interest in bidding for one of the three casino licenses in the Empire State.

Earlier this month, the operator entered an agreement to acquire the long-term lease of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum site as part of a multi-billion dollar development on Long Island for an entertainment and casino venue.

Chairman and CEO Rob Goldstein described a potential New York casino as an “extraordinary and unique opportunity,” because of the dynamics of the market.

Goldstein stated: “The win per units there will be exceptional. The lucky winner is going to do very, very well. I think the evidence of the market is clear just by looking at the three operating properties under the table games.

“And we really don’t have much of a — it’s not a great product right now in New York as far as room capacity. It’s still doing approaching $2bn with just slot machines. So our approach is very much in LVS, it’s anchored by an LDH historical approach, which is scale and quality. 

“We’re not looking to build a casino, not a regional casino, but rather a truly large hotel with spa convention space, dozens of restaurants, a new theater, a huge entertainment feature, a transformational product, which will positively impact the community and grow tourism, a powerful statement. We’re not looking to be in this thing in a limited way.”

The CEO continued: “We’ll be all the way in. And we think if we do it, it will be transformational for the county we’re working in, very good for the people in the county, and something they can be very proud of. And it will drive tourism – outsized tourism into Nassau.

“Our bid is very much traditional on the thinking of LVS large-scale with numerous non-gaming assets, lots of meeting space, probably 400,000 square per foot new space.”

Regarding how much LVS will be looking to invest in a New York casino project, Goldstein noted that it will be in the region of $4bn to $5bn, as they’re looking to create a venue that will be “transformational” for the business.

“It’s not meant to be a small-time investment. We’re going all the way in and building something transformational that drives tourism. And we think will be the biggest, in terms of the casino business, will be the biggest revenue generator,” the CEO added.

Q4 financials

LVS’ comments on their New York casino ambitions came as the operator reported a Q4 revenue of $1.11bn, a 10.8% improvement year-over-year (Q4 2021: $1bn), and an adjusted EBITDA of $222m, a 13% decline YoY (2021: $251m).

The operator reported an operating loss of $166m (2021: $138m loss) with a net loss of $169m (2021: $123m loss).

Per property, LVS’ Singapore-based Marina Bay Sands recorded revenues of $682m (2021: $368m) and an adjusted EBITDA of $273m (2021: $177m). The operator’s five casino properties and ferry operations in Macau declared $444m in revenue (2021: $649m) and an adjusted EBITDA loss of $51m (2021: $74m profit).

Goldstein concluded: “Looking ahead, our industry-leading investments in our team members, our communities, and our market-leading Integrated Resort offerings position us exceedingly well to deliver growth as travel restrictions are further relaxed and the recovery comes to fruition.

“We are fortunate that our financial strength supports our ongoing investment and capital expenditure programs in both Macao and Singapore, as well as our pursuit of growth opportunities in new markets.”