Las Vegas Sands is reportedly looking to sell its two Las Vegas resorts and its convention center, currently owned by Sheldon Adelson. Sands properties include the upscale casino-hotels the Venetian, the Palazzo, and the Sands Expo Convention Center.
Both hotel-casinos are on the Las Vegas Strip, and the convention center is home to various conferences, perhaps most notably the gambling industry’s Global Gaming Expo (G2E) every autumn.
Bloomberg first broke the news on Tuesday, Oct. 27. According to CNN Business, a sale of the three properties could come with a $6 billion price tag. Adelson’s net worth hovers around $30 billion, and he’s known in conservative political circles as a generous contributor to candidates and causes, giving hundreds of millions in donations over the years.
Times Of Struggle For Las Vegas
Adelson’s search for a buyer isn’t a huge surprise; Vegas has endured trying times since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the strip for months beginning in March.
Sands third-quarter earnings reflected casino financial woes amid a global pandemic. The company saw an 82% revenue drop in its third-quarter earnings report.
Even though Las Vegas began to reopen mid-summer, the destination has yet to fully bounce back. CNN notes a 60% plunge in tourism to Las Vegas in August 2020 compared to the August of 2019.
The Time Is Ripe For M&A
A Sands sale would be the latest in a string of M&A activity. The industry has seen a number of big mergers and buyouts over the past year.
Caesars has been particularly active in the space. The company sold its Bally’s Atlantic City property to Twin River earlier this month. A few months prior, Caesars and Eldorado completed a long-anticipated merger. More recently, Caesars and William Hill agreed to a deal that would see Caesars Entertainment absorb William Hill.
Meanwhile, online gaming giants are spinning off from their land-based parent companies to become separate ventures. Golden Nugget brought its online business to the stock market sans IPO via a meandering path to becoming a public company.
Rush Street Interactive, the company behind BetRivers, merged with dMy Technology Group in July. The deal valued Rush Street Interactive at $1.8 billion.
In short, the gaming industry is undergoing seismic shifts as the pandemic slashes land-based revenue and online gambling ramps up. A Sands sale could mark a new wave of M&A to come, and the casino landscape in 2021 could look a lot different than it does now.