End of an Era as Sands Waves Goodbye to Last Strip Presence With Venetian Sale Closure

  • Apollo received regulatory approval to proceed with the Venetian acquisition this month
  • VICI Properties paid $4bn for the venue’s real estate and Apollo $2.25bn for operations
  • The resort complex’s chief executive and executive leadership team will remain in place
  • Las Vegas Sands now only has casinos in Asian markets, namely Macau and Singapore
The Venetian at night
The sale of The Venetian resort complex has come to a close, marking the end of Las Vegas Sands’ presence on the Strip. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Handover complete

The $6.25bn sale of The Venetian, Palazzo, and the Venetian Expo Center is now complete.

The closing of the deal on Wednesday means Las Vegas Sands does not have a presence on the Las Vegas Strip for the first time since 1988. Real estate investment trust VICI Properties and private equity firm Apollo Global Management purchased the resort complex.

focus on entertainment attractions and conference spaces

Apollo received the necessary licensing approval for the purchase earlier in February. This came after two hearings with the gaming regulators in Nevada. The new owners plan to upgrade the food and beverage areas of The Venetian, as well as increase focus on entertainment attractions and conference spaces.

Apollo owns the operations side of the complex after contributing $2.25bn to the deal. VICI Properties has paid $4bn for the 63-acre real estate, as well as another 19 acres adjacent to the property where the MSC Sphere entertainment venue is currently under construction. An escalator will connect The Venetian resort complex with the entertainment arena.

No major changes for workers

George Markantonis remains the resort complex’s chief executive, with the executive leadership team also staying in place. There is a workforce of about 8,000 people at the complex. Their existing employee benefits program will remain in place, with Apollo planning to also provide extra benefits next week.

When Las Vegas Sands controlled the complex, the workers did not seek local union representation as they reportedly received better benefits and wages than people working at union properties.

Las Vegas Sands CEO and chairman Rob Goldstein commented on the completion of the sale. He said: “The property, and most importantly, the people who represent it every day will always remain indelible parts of our history.”

End of an era

The late founder of Sands, Sheldon Adelson, bought the Sands Hotel Casino for $110m in 1988. It became the company’s first Strip property.

The Venetian opened its doors in 1999

Following the demolishment of the hotel in 1996, transformative development work took place. The Venetian opened its doors in 1999, while the adjacent Palazzo, which is part of the operations of The Venetian, opened in 2007.

Las Vegas Sands will keep its corporate headquarters in Nevada despite having no gaming facilities in the state.

Currently, Las Vegas Sands has properties in Singapore and Macau. It is also eyeing up other opportunities in the US, lobbying for gambling expansion in both Florida and Texas. It is also reportedly interested in bidding for one of three potential New York City casino licenses.