Sands Developments: Sports Betting Play, Adelson’s Medical Leave

Two major developments emerged from the Las Vegas Sands corporation over the past week, potentially marking big shifts in the company’s future plans. 

Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson is taking a medical leave of absence to undergo treatment for non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Adelson has not set a date for his return, and while he’s out, Sands’ President and COO Robert Goldstein will act as Chief Executive Officer. 

Last week also brought about a major shift in Sands’ strategy. The company appears to be in talks with potential sports betting partners. This signifies a huge pivot for the Adelson-led Sands Corporation. Adelson has been outspoken in his views regarding online gambling. 

Sands Sports Betting: A Major New Player?

When it comes to gambling properties, Sands Corporation is synonymous with over-the-top retail properties. The company is perhaps most famous for its lavish Las Vegas properties: The Venetian and The Palazzo. 

However, Bloomberg reported in October that Adelson may have been considering a sale of these properties due to financial woes caused by Covid-19.  

Now, the Sands Corporation is pondering a move into the online sports betting space. If the company joins the sports betting fray, it could become a massive competitor in a space already chock full of technological juggernauts. 

Sands would join the likes of BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and various other sportsbook operators competing for a share of the ever-expanding US market. 

Sands Land-Based Business In Jeopardy?

Adelson recently fueled a long-opposed push for more relaxed gambling laws in Texas. It is unclear as of this writing if his medical leave will impact these Lone Star State gambling plans. 

Paired with the recent news of a possible sale of Sands’ Las Vegas properties and the early-stage partnerships talk with sportsbooks, all signs point to a strategic restructuring. 

Whether Sands Corporation will completely embrace sports betting and online casinos is yet to be seen. With Adelson on leave and an acting CEO in charge, it’s likely we’ll see a number of key developments from the business throughout 2021.

About the Author

Cole Rush

Cole Rush

Cole Rush is a Chicago-based writer and contributor for His work has been showcased in various gaming industry magazines and online columns. Prior to freelance writing, Cole spent seven years in communications at a gambling and lottery supplier. A Chicago native, Cole's favorite teams are, predictably, da Bears and da Bulls. When he visits the casino, you’ll most likely find him playing Mississippi Stud or spinning some slots.
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