Sands Cashes Its Chips in Vegas for $6.5 Billion

You gotta know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, know when to run.

Yesterday Las Vegas Sands announced the sale of its iconic Venetian Casino and convention center for $6.25 billion. In other words, they are taking a firm stance on Kenny Rogers’ sage old advice.

End of an Era on the Strip

After a brutal 2020 on the Las Vegas Strip, you didn’t need to be a card counter to see this deal coming.

Sands hinted last year it was considering a sale of its Vegas assets. And after the passing of founder Sheldon Adelson in January, company executives said its Singapore and Macau casinos (which bring in 90% of the company’s revenue) would be their focus going forward.

Still, analysts say it’s possible that Sands could have a stateside rebirth:

  • The company will keep its headquarters in Nevada and is tenaciously lobbying for a license to build an integrated resort and casino in New York City — where the gaming market is estimated at between $6 billion to $10 billion.
  • Sands also has its eye on Texas, where legalization is in the early stages.

No New Player

Apollo is no stranger to taking a chance, though its background in Vegas is…ahem…dicey.

In 2008, Apollo partnered with TPG for a mammoth $30 billion leveraged buyout of Harrah’s Entertainment. The global recession did a number, and the company suffered through bankruptcy and rebranding before being sold last year to Eldorado Resorts for $8.5 billion.

the takeaway

Even with the industry in a financial rut, $6.5 billion is no cheap thrill.

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