LVS creating new gaming zone at Sands Cotai Central

Casino operator using 40,000 sq ft area previously earmarked for a theatre

Sands China Ltd is to develop a 40,000 square feet (3,716 sq. metre) area of Sands Cotai Central previously earmarked for a theatre and use it for gaming. The news was given by the parent company Las Vegas Sands Corp. in the first quarter earnings call on Wednesday, United States time.
The new area is likely to open within 12 months said Sheldon Adelson, the LVS chairman. It will be populated by around 100 tables, he said. Some of them may come from the government’s allocation of 200 new-to-market tables for Sands China announced in January. Others will probably come from the reassignment of underperforming tables from other parts of the company’s Macau operation, hinted Mr Adelson.
It’s not clear at this stage to what segments – VIP, premium mass or mass-market – and to what properties – all Sands’ new and reassigned tables will eventually be allocated.
But Mr Adelson also hinted during the call that the new gaming area at Sands Cotai Central might target the so-called ‘premium mass’ segment of customers – those betting with cash rather than junket-issued credit, but with minimum bets many times those found on mass tables. “…the premium mass has grown dramatically since we originally planned the property,” he stated.
“We got the CapEx [capital expenditure budget] from our board of directors meeting yesterday and we're moving it through. And that is going to take about 10 months or so maybe a little more, 10 or 12 months. It will be ready I think next April,” added Mr Adelson.
He explained that the reason the conversion of the area couldn’t be done instantly is because it requires some foundation pilings.
“…we never put in pilings underneath that space. So we’ve got to get the piling machines that [where] we are already building [The Parisian] and then put them to work,” said the LVS chairman. “So there is a lot of potential upside, filling up the [hotel] rooms, getting more mass market, creating the capacity and [in] putting the tables,” he added.

NEW BOX

Sands China first quarter profit up 63 pct

Sands China Ltd said first- quarter profit jumped 63 percent as it drew more visitors. Net income for the Hong Kong-listed unit of Las Vegas Sands Corp. rose to US$452.9 million (3.62 billion patacas) from US$277.4 million a year earlier, according to a statement from the parent company. Revenue climbed 39 percent to US$2.02 billion for the three months ended in March.
Sands China, alongside rival Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd., has been expanding on the increasingly popular Cotai Strip. Sands China saw a record 14 million visits to its Cotai Strip properties in Macau, according to the statement.
Adjusted property earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, (property EBITDA), climbed 39 percent to US$626.4 million. That compares with a median estimate of US$632 million from a survey of five analysts compiled by Bloomberg News.
“We…expect the company to outgrow its peers over the near-, medium-, and longer-terms,” said Union Gaming Research Macau in a note to clients. “This stems from the company’s dominant position on Cotai with significantly more supply (rooms, retail, tables, slots) than its peers – all during a period that should see exceptional growth of the mass-market and slots segment market-wide, but particularly on Cotai,” added the research house.
“Over the medium term, we are bullish on The Parisian [new Cotai project] and believe its theme will resonate well with core Chinese mass customers,” said analyst Cameron McKnight of Wells Fargo in a note.

M.G. with Bloomberg News

NEW BOX

New standalone shopping mall planned by Sands

Casino operator Sands China Ltd confirmed it has applied to the Macau government to create a new two million square foot (185,807 sq. metre) shopping mall, just south of Sands Cotai Central, on the east side of The Cotai Strip.
“The mall will feature over 900,000 square feet of value-oriented destination shopping and dining, targeted specifically at the mass market visitors to Macau,” stated Sheldon Adelson, chairman of the parent company Las Vegas Sands Corp. during the first quarter earnings call.
The facility – likely to be called Tropical Garden – will complement a new shopping mall planned for Sands China’s new US$2.8 billion, French-themed The Parisian development on Cotai. Mr Adelson said the company hoped to have The Parisian open by “late 2015”.
“…the Tropical Garden retail, that standalone mall, the government is very excited about because they want our non-gaming development,” added Mr Adelson. “It’s almost three times the size of the Parisian mall. So we’ll have quite a bit of retail connected without leaving an air-condition space,” he explained.