The $222 million loss for Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) in the second quarter would have likely been disappointing to investors on its own, but was made only more so by the positive news out of Wynn (NASDAQ:WYNN) earlier in the day yesterday. Though a red bottom line isn't my favorite sight, I did see some positives in Sands' earnings report.

But first, the bad. Like we saw with Wynn and will likely also see with MGM Mirage (NYSE:MGM) and Boyd Gaming (NYSE:BYD) when they report next week, business in Las Vegas was soft. Revenue at Sands' Vegas properties fell 17% while EBITDAR (a measure of cash flow) dropped 27%.

Operations in Macau, which make up the majority of Sands' top line, took a hit but held up better than the Vegas locations. Venetian Macau EBITDAR (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, and restructuring or rent costs) slipped 22%, while Sands Macau actually saw EBITDAR climb 13%. Both properties also slumped on the revenue line.

Interestingly, gaming revenue took only a modest drop at all of Sands' properties, while room, food and beverage, and retail business provided the stronger tug on sales.

Now on to those positives I alluded to. In his concluding comments in the earnings release, CEO Sheldon Adelson said, "We remain focused on the reduction of our financial leverage, and we continue to aggressively pursue a comprehensive solution to our global liquidity needs." That, my Foolish reader, is music to my ears.

Although the company still has its Marina Bay development in Singapore on its plate through 2009 -- which will be plenty costly -- it has been chipping away at a cost-savings plan that it hopes will yield $500 million in annual savings by year's end. The company has also been cranking the rumor mill with a potential equity offering for its Macau business.

Combine a stable of top-notch properties with a focus on improving the balance sheet, and we could end up with a very attractive company. Of course, the path from point A to point B is fraught with risks -- not the least of which is dilution to current shareholders. However, for those willing to shoulder that risk, Las Vegas Sands at today's price could deliver some very solid returns.

Further Foolish gaming talk:

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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool. The Fool's disclosure policy turns sand into glass just for fun.