Las Vegas Sands revenue triples as Macau reopens for business

sands the venetian macao

Las Vegas Sands revenue for the previous quarter was reported to be three times the revenue in the same period last year. This is because the main market for Las Vegas Sands, Macau, is no longer under covid restrictions. Other companies that do business in Macau all benefited as well.

After having a few difficult years because of the covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent quarantines and other restrictions, the gambling business in the Chinese province of Macau is booming again. And no one benefits more than the US-based company Las Vegas Sands.

The Sheldon Adelson owned company just reported this Wednesday that the revenue in the most recent quarter, Q2 2023, is $2.8 billion. This is even more than the $2.27bn that the anaylsts predicted, and almost triple the result of $1.10bn that was reported in the same quarter last year. The LVS shares rose 5% as a result of the announcement

Despite the name that would suggest otherwise, Las Vegas Sands doesn’t own any Las Vegas properties anymore as Sheldon Adelson made a huge gamble by going all in on Macau and Singapore properties, selling the last casino the company owned in Las Vegas, The Venetian, in 2022.

Casinos that Las Vegas Sands operate in Macau are The Venetian Macao (375,000 sqft of gaming space), The Parisian Macao, The Plaza Macao & Four Seasons Hotel Macao (105,000 sqft), The Londoner Macao (106,000 sqft) and Sands Macao (229,000 sqft). These are probably the most impressive and extravagant casinos in Macau and the backbone of the industry in the region.

MGM China, that also runs casinos in Macau, reported revenue of $1.2bn for the first two quarters combined. It is double the revenue in the first half of 2022. The company, owned by MGM Resorts International, operates MGM Macau and MGM Cotai, that have 100,000 and 500,000 sqft of gaming space, respectively.

Macau is the only region in China where casino gambling is legal, so it attracts all the Chinese high rollers. The gaming industry contributes half of the city’s GDP. The casinos generate around $36bn in revenue annually, or at least those were the pre-pandemic numbers. This is three times the revenue of Las Vegas, $12bn, in the same period, 2019.

However, the pandemic hit the industry hard as travel collapsed and Macau is an island. Strict week-long quarantines on arrival were imposed, so in 2020 only 6 million people visited Macau compared to 39 million in 2019.

As of 2019, Macau has 41 casinos, of which the biggest is The Venetian Macao, operated by Las Vegas Sands. 24 casinos are on the Macau Peninsula while the remaining 17 are in Cotai.

Other than Las Vegas Sands and MGM China, the other casino operators in Macau are SJM Holdings and Galaxy Entertainment. SJM Holdings is run by the family of Stanley Ho and it operates Casino Lisboa, arguably Macau’s most famous casino. Galaxy Entertainment operates five casinos in Macau, including The Galaxy Macau in Cotai.

SJM Holdings also reported a year-on-year jump in revenue, 127% for the first six months of 2023 compared to the year before.

Perhaps crucially, the profile of a Macau visitor has changed significantly in recent years. The Chinese government cracked down on so-called junkets, which are organized tours that have a purpose to help high rollers evade capital controls and move large amounts of money back and forth across the border with Macau.

Now, with the junket market gone, the usual visitor of a Macau casino is your standard tourist that is looking for fun, shopping, gambling and generally a good time.

This August, gaming revenue in Macau crossed $2bn, while Nevada and Las Vegas reported only $1.2bn of revenue in comparison.

That’s not to say Las Vegas is going out of business anytime soon. Sin City has a 30+ month streak of reporting $1bn or more in revenue, and it isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. The Las Vegas Strip led the state of Nevada in revenue last year with $8.28 billion, up 17% from the previous year.

Nearby Singapore, where Las Vegas Sands also has a single property, is also seeing tourist and revenue numbers recover. There is a 44.5% increase in the number of tourists to Singapore in September compared to the same month in the previous year, for a total of 1.1 million international arrivals.

In 2022, 39 million people visited Las Vegas.

Daniel Horvat

Daniel Horvat

Daniel is a writer for PlaySlots4RealMoney.com who specializes in gambling legislation, casino and game reviews. An avid slots player, Daniel has also worked for the operators in the past so he knows the business inside out, both from the player's and from the operator's perspective. Focused on bringing quality information to players since 2007, Daniel has reviewed hundreds of gambling sites and never shied away from writing a bad review in those cases where the brand was rogue. Prior to joining PlaySlots4RealMoney.com, Daniel has worked on several other sites as well as his own player-focused websites in the casino and sports niches. In addition to being involved with the casino industry, Daniel is a cryptocurrency enthusiast and former miner, which puts him in an excellent position to write about all things crypto-related. In his free time, Daniel likes to relax, read and take online courses. He spent quite some time in the greater Boston area as well as in London.

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