Sands Projects $6B Cost for New York Casino, Reiterates Texas Interest

Posted on: January 25, 2024, 03:28h. 

Last updated on: January 27, 2024, 11:06h.

Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) has said that should it be awarded a New York casino license, construction costs on the Nassau County venue could reach $6 billion.

Macau debt
Sands China’s Venetian Macau. Las Vegas Sands reported strong Q4 results and discussed New York and Texas opportunities. (Image: Wall Street Journal)

The largest gaming company by market capitalization also reiterated its interest in Texas. Executives made remarks to those effects late Wednesday on the operator’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call. Shares of LVS rose modestly Thursday on strength in the firm’s Macau and Singapore segments, but much was made of the operator’s efforts to reenter the U.S.

As you know, we’re bidding for a license in New York. We’re receiving strong local support. The cost of the building will be in the $6 billion range, which enables us to develop a true five-star resort,” said CEO Rob Goldstein on the call. “This is a massive opportunity. We are very enthused about the prospect. Our bid is compelling. If we receive the license, we’d be in the ground as quickly as possible.”

Sands is among nearly a dozen companies vying for three downstate casino licenses New York regulators could award later this year. LVS wants to build a casino hotel on the site of Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, an effort met with resistance by Hofstra University and some local organizations.

Despite a court recently ruling that Nassau County’s transfer of the Coliseum’s lease to Sands violated New York open meeting laws, the operator is forging ahead to procure one of those permits. Goldstein added that it’s possible the state will decide on the winning bidders this year but also noted, “We don’t have any great insight if that will happen.”

Sands Talks Texas

Following the acquisition of majority control of the Dallas Mavericks by Dr. Miriam Adelson, Sheldon Adelson’s widow, and the family of LVS CFO Patrick Dumont, speculation intensified that the operator is eyeing Dallas as a spot for a potential casino resort.

Adding to that conjecture are reports confirming that a limited liability corporation (LLC) tied to Las Vegas Sands acquired land near Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas, last July. On the conference call, the operator reiterated its bullish view on the second-largest state.

“In terms of Texas, I think the most important thing is that Las Vegas Sands is actively trying to facilitate the development of integrated resorts in the State of Texas and through the liberalization of gaming,” said Dumont. “And so we’re very excited about it. We think it’s an unbelievable market. Over time, we hope that it happens. I can’t tell you when it’s going to be, but we’re very focused on it as a company, and we like the opportunity to develop some very unique tourism assets, specifically in Dallas.”

Dumont is now the governor of the Mavericks, while now-minority owner Mark Cuban oversees basketball operations.

Analysts Bullish on Sands’ Asia Exposure

Currently, Sands’ entire portfolio is comprised of five Macau integrated resorts and Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Analysts are bullish on Macau, where Sands China is the largest operator.

“LVS’s market-leading room supply is positioned to benefit from the later stages of post-pandemic recovery and overall market growth,” CBRE analyst John DeCree said in a report to clients on Thursday.

Macquarie analyst Chad Beynon reiterated that Sands is one of the best Macau equities to own. He did so while lauding the earnings delivered by Marina Bay Sands.

“LVS remains a top Macau pick, given its strong management team, capital returns, leading position in mass and unrivaled capacity (rooms, tables, non-gaming). Additionally, Singapore continues to be an incredible source of strength and earning,” he wrote in a note.