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As Asia drives Q1 revenue, Sands considers Thailand

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Las Vegas Sands said that it would consider entering the Thailand market, which will soon be regulated. This is in order to help support business growth.

Sands has once again highlighted the continued growth of Macau, as being one of its key drivers behind Q1’s rise. After the lifting of measures related to pandemics in January, Sands has continued benefiting from its success in Macau.

Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands also saw growth. Singapore, like Macau, removed all Covid-19 regulations in 2023. This allowed operations to resume as normal.

Sands CEO Robert Goldstein stated that after such success on two of Asia’s most important markets, the company is now looking to expand in Thailand. The country was one step away from legalising gambling when, last month the House of Representatives approved the move.

Cabinet approval is all that’s needed for the new laws to take effect. Goldstein, who spoke about the launch of Sands in Thailand ahead of time, said that it would be an exciting market.

Goldstein stated on a call with investors that “we absolutely have an interest in Thailand.” It’s an exciting market on many levels. The sheer number of Thais, their accessibility and willingness to travel there are all reasons enough for people to visit Thailand. The city is clearly the number one destination for tourists in Asia.

It could happen even faster than Japan. It’s possible, I believe. We’re still in the early stages, but we have a lot of work to do on understanding and analyzing numbers.”

Sands disappointed by New York

New York’s situation is quite different, despite the excitement surrounding a potential launch in Thailand. Sands previously spoke about a possible launch in a US state, and the bidding process for three downstate licenses.

Last month, the New York State Gaming Commission announced that licences would not likely be granted until 2025. It said that the long approval process was to blame.

Patrick Dumont, Sands’ president and chief operational officer, acknowledged that this news was disappointing. Dumont also criticized the regulators of New York for their lack of clarity. However, he added that Sands is still hopeful about a possible launch.

Dumont stated, “We are very disappointed with New York. We’ve worked there for many years and thought that it would happen in 2024. They’re now saying that it will happen in 2025 or even 2026. I think there is no real clarity. To be honest, I find it confusing and frustrating because New York has put a great deal of effort and time into this project.

We wish that they had figured out the problem and told us. Just don’t ask us. We’ll keep hoping that the situation will improve.

Revenue breakdown for Q1

Macau’s growth is evident in Q1. The region’s operations generated revenue of $1.81bn, a 41.6% increase from the previous year.

Venetian Macau, Sands’ most popular venue in the area, saw revenue increase by 28.2 percent to $771m. The growth was also seen at the Londoner Macau (Parisian Macau), Plaza Macau, Four Seasons Macau and Four Seasons Macau.

In Singapore, Marina Bay Sands’ revenue grew 36.6% on an annual basis to $1.16bn. Sands also noted that $73m in intersegment reductions were deducted from the total revenue. The operator ended up with a net gaming revenue totaling $2.96bn.

Casino activities generated $2.29bn in revenue, an increase of 44.6%. The revenue was higher in all operator segments, including rooms, food, and beverages, and malls, with revenues of $330m.

Sands’ revenue growth is offset by higher expenditure

Operating expenses in Q1 increased by 28.7% to $2.24bn. Sands’ largest expenditure was in resort operations, which accounted for $1.76bn.

Sands’ pre-tax profits were $600m after adding an extra $117m of net finance costs. It was up 297.7% year-onyear.

Sands reported a $89m non-controlling interest loss and paid tax of $17m. It ended the first quarter with a profit of $494m. This is a 236.1% increase from $147m.

The adjusted EBITDA of the first quarter was $1.21 billion, up 52.4% year on year.

Goldstein, CEO of Goldstein Group said: “Our industry-leading financial strength supports our continued investment and capital spending programs in Macao as well as Singapore. We also pursue growth opportunities in other markets. And we return any excess capital back to our stockholders.”

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