Robert Goldstein, Purported Online Sports Betting Backer, Replaces Sheldon Adelson at Las Vegas Sands

Posted on: January 26, 2021, 06:23h. 

Last updated on: January 28, 2021, 09:52h.

Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) has removed “acting” from Robert Goldstein’s titles as chairman and chief executive officer. It makes the longtime executive the company’s first permanent leader following the death of Sheldon Adelson earlier this month.

Rob Goldstein
Robert Goldstein (left). He’s now chairman and CEO of Las Vegas in a permanent capacity. (Image: The Straits Times)

Goldstein, 64, took the reins as interim chairman and CEO when Adelson sought another round of treatment for non-Hodkinson’s lymphoma. The gaming mogul passed away on Jan. 12 at his home in Malibu, Calif.

Goldstein joined what’s now the world’s largest casino gaming company by market capitalization in 1995. From 1999 through 2010, he served as president and chief operating officer (COO) of the Venetian and Palazzo, the company’s two Las Vegas Strip venues.

In other executive changes at the company, Patrick Dumont, Adelson’s son-in-law, is promoted to president and COO, while Randy Hyzak takes Dumont’s place as the chief financial officer (CFO). Immediately following Adelson’s death, analysts speculated the chairman and CEO roles could be split between Dumont and Goldstein.

Dumont also manages the Adelson family’s finances. This role takes on increased importance now that the family controls more than 57 percent of LVS’s outstanding equity.

Different, Shared Visions for Las Vegas Sands

Previously, Goldstein also served as the company’s president of global gaming, overseeing its famed Asian operations. This includes five integrated resorts in Macau and the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Today, Sands is the largest Macau operator and Marina Bay Sands is the most profitable casino in the world.

In normal operating climates, those six venues combine for two-thirds or more the company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), and revenue in any given quarter. Keeping in line with their late boss’s vision, it’s widely expected that Goldstein and Dumont will continue emphasizing the Asia-Pacific region, and that could eventually include expansion via acquisitions.

Mr. Adelson established the roadmap for the future of this company, and that roadmap is unchanged,” said Dumont in a statement.

However, Goldstein and Dumont aren’t Adelson clones. The late gaming scion was famously opposed to online gaming and never pushed Sands to become a player in the fast-growing sports betting space. Today, internet gaming and sports betting go hand-in-hand, owing to superior margins relative to brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. Just days before Adelson died, rumors surfaced that Goldstein was engaged in early-stage talks that could move LVS into the sports wagering arena.

Good Timing

News of the promotions for Dumont, Goldstein, and Hyzak comes a day before LVS reports fourth-quarter results. Wall Street expects the Venetian operator will lose 34 cents a share on revenue of $1.3 billion. Adjusted EBITDA is forecast to be $145.1 million.

Over the previous eight quarters, the gaming company beat earnings estimates 63 percent of the time, and top-line forecasts 38 percent of the time. Analysts and investors are likely to applaud the executive moves because the aforementioned trio is familiar names with long histories at LVS. Additionally, the steadiness at the top will probably be appreciated because the Sands rumor mill is heating up.

In addition to mulling sports betting, the company could divest its Las Vegas assets, is believed to be eyeing New York and Texas for domestic expansion, and could be looking for deals in Asia.