Las Vegas Sands Corp. shocked the casino market in late 2020 when they announced that they were looking to sell their Las Vegas casinos. Sands Corp. is the biggest gambling operator in the world and owner of some of the most iconic casinos in America, including the Palazzo and Venetian Casinos.
When news broke in late 2020, Sands Corp. confirmed the same but admitted that it had only just opened talks. Reports would later surface that Sands Corp. was looking to dispose of its Palazzo and Venetian casinos for a whopping $6 billion.
This huge asking amount immediately disqualified a number of interested parties. As of now, it appears that MGM Resorts International and Hard Rock are the two companies that are interested in the sale.
MGM Resorts has buried itself in a lot of debt and has also suffered losses during the pandemic. MGM has over $11.3 billion in outstanding debut but is still pursuing an $11 billion acquisition of UK gaming operator Entain formerly known as GVC Holdings. Entain has reportedly turned down this offer as it was too low.
MGM is now looking at Palazzo and Venetian casinos for $6 billion. Its only competitor so far is the Hard Rock brand which initially moved out of Las Vegas but later bought back the rights to use its brand for a new Las Vegas casino and hotel.
Why Sands Corp. Is Selling?
Sands Corp. has taken a massive hit to its finances in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. While most of the big casino operators have online gambling ventures, Sands Corp. does not have an online gambling presence due to the stance of its founder and chairman Sheldon Adelson.
The 87 year old billionaire has been the biggest advocate against online gambling and has used his own funds to finance the ‘Coalition To Stop Internet Gambling’. Since Sands Corp. had no online gambling interests, they were unable to offset any of their losses through online gambling revenue.
Sands Corp. is now looking to bring in funds to offset the COVID-19 losses and the sale of its iconic properties in Las Vegas is one way to do so. There are many who cannot understand why Sands Corp. would agree to sell such iconic brands but when you look at the numbers, you realize that Sands Corp. only brings in 13 percent of its gross gaming revenue from its Las Vegas Casinos.