2021-01-22 (Friday)
19oC / 80%Céu


Big changes could be in store for Las Vegas Sands and Sands China after the death of the companies' founder Sheldon Adelson on Monday.

Analyst Ben Lee told TDM that much depends on what role Adelson's widow chooses to assume in the company and whether his risk-taking spirit will continue to be part of the corporate culture.

With the passing of Sheldon Adelson on January 11th, the question is now raised as to what will happen to the gaming companies he founded.

With their paths already forged by the entrepreneur, Las Vegas Sands and Sands China are now led by acting Chairman and CEO Robert Goldstein.

Analyst Ben Lee says that he doesn't envision any major shake-ups for now and that the company is likely to become more cautious now that its pioneer has passed away.

«No, I don't believe there'll be a change in the day-to-day management, that's pretty much set in stone. What will change is that the vision and the appetite for taking risks will disappear. And you know, we've seen that in the case of Wynn when they lost Steve. We're likely to see the same in LVS and Sands China with the absence of Adelson. His proclivity towards taking big gambles rest in him and him only. And it will be very interesting to see if his widow, Miriam, has the same ambition and ego that drove Adelson.»

Several scenarios arise from the passing of the billionaire, with possible opportunities for those with deep enough pockets – such as hedge funds.

«What this event does create, however, is an opportunity for someone else to come in to take over or to execute a strategic takeover of the controlling interest of Sands China and possibly LVS. And I'm thinking, in my mind, a China-related interest. One could be the Chinese hedge fund that is behind the Macau company that took over the Caesars Golf Course. So they obviously have or had an interest in developing gaming, they've just been sitting on that land, so they may be one.»

Macau's gaming concessions and sub-concessions are nearing their end, with a re-tendering process set to take place.

But will the absence of the 'visionary of Cotai' be detrimental, or possibly beneficial, for the company?

«You know what I think – I hate to speak of the recently departed in such a manner but I think it improves the risk for Sands China in that the obvious link to Trump is now no longer there. The link between Adelson and Trump has always been a pressure point for their concession in Macau and I think this, unfortunately, improves their chances of getting a new concession.»

Although Adelson himself didn't live to see the re-tendering process, he did see the company's properties in Macau reach their pinnacle, proving to the world that his big gamble has paid off.