Skift Take

Leaving Las Vegas gives Las Vegas Sands more than $6 billion in capital to beef up non-gaming assets in markets like Singapore and Macau and potentially dip its toes in the uncharted gambling waters of Texas.

Series: Early Check-In

Early Check-In

Editor’s Note: Skift Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill brings readers exclusive reporting and insights into hotel deals and development, and how those trends are making an impact across the travel industry.

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Las Vegas Sands may be exiting its namesake city, but its hefty, $6.25 billion cash-out will go toward continued expansion in Singapore and other Asian cities as well as new U.S. markets, most likely Texas. The gaming company announced plans in early March to sell its Venetian Resort Las Vegas and the Sands Expo and Convention Center to investment firm Apollo Global Management. Just because the company is leaving Las Vegas doesn’t mean it’s done with the U.S. “We continue to look at other large-scale Asian opportunities, and then, of course, we think in the U.S., there may be some opportunities for us here,” Rob Goldstein, the CEO of Las Vegas Sands, said on an investor call late last week. Las Vegas Sands launched a marketing campaign in Texas earlier this month pushing for the legalization of four casino resorts across the Lone Star State. The Sands ads argue Texas loses billions of dollars in tourism and gaming revenue to neighboring states with legalized gaming like Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Executives with the gaming company maintained they were focused on growth in Asia when the Las Vegas portfolio sale was first mentioned as a possibility last fall, but the marketing push suggests the company sees major opportunity in Texas — one of the last major U.S. states without legalized casino gambling. While there are casinos technically within state borders, they belong to Native American tribes on federally recognized reservations. Goldstein didn’t mention Texas opportunities specifically on the company’s first quarter earnings call, but the company publicly backed a bill filed last month that would pave the way for four mixed-use “destination resorts” to go up across the Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio markets. The Houston and Dallas projects would require at least $2 billion in investment while the Austin and San Antonio deals need at least $1 billion, per the filed piece of legislation. Shift to Asia: A Texas resort is likely years, and a legislative battle, away for Las Vegas Sands. In the meantime, the company is throttling ahead with plans to beef up its presence in Asia, particularly Macao and Singapore.