Las Vegas Sands brings a touch of Venice to the US and China. Replete with gondoliers and a replica of the Rialto Bridge, the company's Venetian Las Vegas Hotel, Resort & Casino offers a 120,000-sq.-ft. casino and a 4,000-suite hotel, as well as a shopping, dining, and entertainment complex. Through its majority-owned Sands China subsidiary, the firm operates The Venetian Macau on the Cotai Strip (the Chinese equivalent of the Las Vegas Strip), as well as two other properties in Macao. Properties also include the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and the partially-owned Sands Bethlehem in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and trusts for his family own about 55% of Las Vegas Sands.
The company's 70%-owned Sands China subsidiary consist of three casinos in Macao, the only place in China where casinos are legal. These properties include the Sands Macau, the Venetian Macau Resort Hotel Casino, and the Four Seasons Macau. Elsewhere in Asia, the company's Marina Bay Sands in Singapore opened in 2010 at a total cost of about $5.5 billion. In the US, additional Las Vegas properties include The Palazzo Casino next door to the Venetian, and the nearby Sands Expo Center trade show and convention center. Another US property is its Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in Pennsylvania.
Las Vegas Sands in 2011 benefitted from a recovering Las Vegas market, as well as an Asia-heavy portfolio. About 50% of the company's revenues come from Macao, and another 30% is from Singapore. In 2011 Las Vegas Sands reported revenues of more than $9.4 billion, up from about $6.8 billion the previous year, and its profits increased to more than $1.5 billion, compared to about $599 million in 2010.
Las Vegas Sands is in the middle of a major growth initiative, with several projects in various stages of development. The company's $4.1 billion expansion plan for its Macao operations includes a new resort complex, Sands Cotai Central, that will house hotels under brands such as Sheraton and St. Regis. Construction is being completed in phases, with certain operations to be opening in 2012 and 2013. Driven by its success in Macao and Singapore, in 2011 Las Vegas Sands completed a major expansion at its Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem. Included in the remodel was the addition of a hotel, retail space, and an entertainment center.
Despite these ambitious expansion plans abroad and at home in Pennsylvania, the company remains cautious in Las Vegas. A challenging economic environment caused Las Vegas Sands in 2009 to halt construction of a high-rise residential condominium tower located next to The Venetian. The company has reported that construction will resume when conditions improve and demand for condos on the Strip increases. – less