Las Vegas Sands CEO Eyeing Thailand After New York Casino Licensing Delays

  • LVS CEO Goldstein said that the licensing process in New York has lacked clarity
  • The operator is hoping to develop a resort on Long Island and faces stiff competition
  • It sees Thailand as a potentially big market but needs to crunch the numbers
Sands sign
Las Vegas Sands CEO Rob Goldstein has expressed his frustration about casino licensing delays in New York and noted the company’s interest in pursuing a project in Thailand. [Image:]

Up in the air

Revealing his frusration at the downstate casino license delays in New York, Las Vegas Sands (LVS) CEO Rob Goldstein has expressed excitement about the potential for gambling properties in Thailand. He was speaking as part of a first-quarter results call on Wednesday, with LVS beating estimates through a 40% year-on-year revenue rise.

a decision on the successful applicants won’t be made until at least late 2025

LVS is one of almost a dozen casino companies battling it out for a downstate New York casino license. Delays to the approval process mean that a decision on the successful applicants won’t be made until at least late 2025.

Goldstein said that LVS was hoping that the licensing approval would take place this year and questioned the lack of clarity so far, saying that the process is “confusing and disappointing.” He mentioned the significant amount of time and resources the company has put into its New York pitch and hopes that it will get more guidance going forward.

Taking their time

One of the big roadblocks is the length of time it is taking the New York City Planning Commission to approve an amendment that would make it easier for prospective casinos to gain zoning approval.

LVS hopes to develop a resort on Long Island

LVS hopes to develop a resort on Long Island at the site of the Nassau Coliseum. The nearby Hofstra University has battled in the courts against this proposal, pursuing legal action to claim that the casino company’s lease is invalid. A New York Supreme Court judge agreed with this argument last month and ruled that Nassau County has to carry out an environmental review and restart the leasing process.

LVS faces stiff opposition to get one of the three approvals, with existing slots parlors run by MGM Resorts International and Genting heavily tipped to get two of the licenses. This means that industry giants like LVS, Caesars Entertainment, Hard Rock International, and Wynn Resorts will battle it out for the final approval.

Plenty of interest in Thailand

LVS is always eyeing up new opportunities and one of the prospective new markets on everyone’s minds is Thailand. Lawmakers in the popular tourist destination support the addition of casino resorts in the country. These properties could even open before Japan launches its first-ever integrated resort in the fall of 2030.

LVS currently has no casinos up and running in the US market after selling the Venetian in February 2022. Its main operations currently are in Macau and Singapore.

When asked by a Wall Street analyst if Thailand would be sufficiently large enough for LVS, CEO Goldstein said that the company “absolutely” has an interest in the country while noting that everything is in the early days and that the company has to crunch the numbers and fully assess the opportunity. He highlighted the large population, high tourist numbers, and easy accessibility as clear advantages.

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