Investor Agenda

Adelson Bets on Bethlehem


Billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson (like “Saddle”) celebrated the grand opening of another casino yesterday. Not in Vegas but Bethlehem. Yes you’re reading this correctly, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania’s “Sands Casino Resort.”

When Sheldon spoke to Maria on "Closing Bell" he said regional casinos looks promising. Adelson said “I see the light at the end of the tunnel in our other properties, but right here at the Sands Bethlehem, it’s very gratifying to have opened the first Brownfield site that has been closed for about 15 years. It’s very gratifying we’re one of the few companies able to put 1,000 people to work here.”

Las Vegas Sands IPO’d back on Dec. 15, 2004 at $29 a share. Now it’s under ten bucks a piece. That’s a 65 percent from its offering price.

Las Vegas Sands Chart
Source: S&P

So far this year, it’s up more than 62 percent (although it was down 94 percent last year). Its competitors are not off to a good start, MGM Mirage has dropped 47 percent and Wynn Resorts has declined 12 percent.

Adelson sees signs of a turnaround in Las Vegas, but says Macau is the next big growth spot for the company. The casino operator plans to raise funds to restart its $12 billion casino-resort project on Macau’s Cotai Strip. Adelson says, "We’re building what will be the largest building in the world almost 14-million square feed with 6,500 rooms and four different hotel brands."

When Maria and I traveled on assignment in China back in 2006, she made side trip to Macau. She visited Adelson’s casino there – not a lot of glitz, quite different than Vegas. What you saw were tables and tables. The casino goers there don’t necessarily look like they want the glitz, they just want to sit down and play. Adelson said “they like to play mahjong, they like to go out and challenge luck. That goes back for centuries in Chinese culture”.

The Macau project is currently about 60 percent finished. 

Las Vegas Sands Bets on Bethlehem, Pa.



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