Sands China Focusing on Entertainment, Strikes Partnership With Tencent

Posted on: December 6, 2023, 12:07h. 

Last updated on: December 6, 2023, 02:29h.

Sands China this week announced a partnership with Tencent Video and movie ticketing firm Maoyan Entertainment to bring new forms of entertainment to Macau.

Sands China Tencent Maoyan Macau entertainment
Sands China is teaming up with Chinese streaming giant Tencent Video and movie broker Maoyan to bring new entertainment offerings to Macau. Sands China owns and operates five integrated resorts in the Chinese casino hub. (Image:

Tencent Video is the fourth-largest streaming service in the world behind Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+. The platform is owned by Tencent Holdings, the Chinese conglomerate of media entities that controls video game giant Tencent Games.

Maoyan is an online movie ticketing website in China that also produces and distributes films.

Sands China says the trio will collaborate to bring new forms of entertainment to Macau, one of two Special Administrative Regions (SARs) in China along with Hong Kong.

The three parties will leverage their respective strengths to foster comprehensive and in-depth cooperation, including the hosting of large-scale offline events, content creation of lifestyle and entertainment programs, and online marketing and promotion,” a release on the strategic partnership from Sands China read.

Las Vegas Sands maintains a 70% stake in Sands China, which is publicly traded on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Nongaming Focus

The Macau government is seeking to diversify its economy away from gambling, as its six casino operators before the pandemic accounted for about 80 cents of every tax dollar it received.

Last year, in exchange for a new 10-year gaming license from the Macau SAR Government, Sands China committed to investing MOP27.8 billion (US$3.45 billion) into its casino resorts through nongaming projects. Sands’ five competitors in Macau, Galaxy Entertainment, Wynn China, MGM China, SJM Resorts, and Melco Resorts, made similar pledges.

Sands appears to be focusing on entertainment in its nongaming obligation. Working with Tencent Video and Maoyan, Sands China plans to host an array of special events from the showbiz industry. Examples include movie and television premieres, variety shows, sports and cultural engagements, and other in-person events.

“These initiatives will provide continued support for the diversification of Macau’s tourism industry and further enhance the city’s positioning as a premium destination,” Sands officials said.

Sands China certainly has the facilities to host such events. Its entertainment spaces in Macau include the 15,000-seat Cotai Arena, the 6,000-seat Londoner Arena, the 1,800-seat Venetian Theatre, the 1,700-seat Londoner Theatre, and the 1,200-seat Parisian Theatre.

Sands China owns and operates five integrated resort casinos in Macau, including The Venetian, The Parisian, Sands Macau, The Plaza, and its newest, The Londoner.

New Gaming Market

Macau’s gaming industry is vastly different today than it was only a few years ago. That’s primarily because of China’s crackdown on the outflow of money from the mainland to the tax haven that is Macau.

Beijing heavily scrutinized VIP junket groups that had brought mainland high rollers to Macau, the only place under China’s control where casinos are allowed. The junket industry is just a shell of its former shelf and, as a result, casinos are focusing more on the mass and premium mass demographics.

Las Vegas Sands and Sands China Chair and CEO Robert Goldstein said a year ago this month upon receipt of the new 10-year casino license that diversification only strengthens the companies’ enthusiasm for the future of Macau.

“With the support of the government and an extraordinary level of commitment from Sands China, Macau has evolved into a true international destination for leisure and business travel. We believe continued growth in Macau is still in front of us, and as demonstrated since we first began operating there, we will continue supporting and investing in Macau as it solidifies its position as one of the world’s greatest tourism destinations,” said Goldstein.