If the gaming giant Las Vegas Sands considers selling its Venetian, Palazzo and Sands Expo properties in Las Vegas, there would be big interest from industry players, according to an industry analyst.
There Would Be Interest If Las Vegas Sands Considers Selling Properties, Says Analyst
There should be plenty of industry giants who may be interested in buying the Las Vegas Sands Corp. properties the Venetian, Palazzo and Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas if those properties become available for sale, according to an industry analyst. Last month, Bloomberg revealed that the Las Vegas Sands Corp. may be “exploring the sale of its casinos” in Las Vegas which may bring some $6 billion to the company or more. With that in mind, the possibilities of such sales are still in the “very early discussions” and an official statement is yet to be revealed.
However, if the Las Vegas Sands is to sell those properties, according to the Macquarie Group Limited gaming analyst Chad Beynon there may be several companies that may be interested. In an interview for Las Vegas Sun, Beynon outlined: “Buying Venetian and Palazzo, that’s not just buying a property on the Strip, that’s buying a convention business”. He added that it is likely that the same buyers that were looking into Caesars may at least be interested to look into this. Here, we cannot miss to add that the megadeal merger between Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment for some $17.3 billion was already completed in July.
According to Beynon, since Tilman Fertitta was interested in the Caesars deal, he may be interested in that deal as well. The billionaire Fertitta is the owner of Houston Rockets. More industry giants that may be interested if Las Vegas Sands decides to sell the three properties include Crown Resorts, Churchill Downs Inc. and Galaxy Entertainment Group, according to Beynon. For the moment, neither of the companies has officially shown interest in the properties.
The Impact of the Pandemic on Conventions in Las Vegas
Las Vegas and Nevada weren’t missed by the spread of the COVID-19. In March, the pandemic brought the shutdown of the casino and hotel industry for three months. Although the casinos were allowed to reopen doors on June 4, the reduced capacity and traveling disruptions resulted in millions of losses for Las Vegas operators. Furthermore, the convention attendance was also severely impacted as in fact, no conventions took place in June this year.
According to a report by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), a staggering drop was observed in the number of visitors for the first month when the Las Vegas operators were allowed to reopen. In June this year, only 1,065,100 people visited Las Vegas. This represents some 70.5% decrease when comparing the results to June last year. On the other hand, conventions alone brought more than half a million people to Las Vegas in June last year, while the number this year hit rock bottom to 0.
The latest LVCVA report revealed that in September 1.7 million people visited Las Vegas. This represented a 10.9% increase when compared to August. With that in mind, no measurable number of conventions was revealed.
Given that Las Vegas Sands has a significant focus on conventions, this may be one of the reasons why the operator may be exploring options to sell its properties. The Sands Expo convention space remained empty for the bigger part of the year now, given that no conventions took place during the summer. In an interview for Bloomberg, a Macau-based managing partner at IGamiX, Ben Lee said that the “growing insignificance” of the U.S. market may explain why Las Vegas Sands may look to sell its U.S. properties. He stressed: “It is 15% of revenue but 80% of regulatory pain and burden.“