In the eyes of Las Vegas Sands
Adelson is in discussions with Spanish governments to build a Las Vegas Strip style development that would cost somewhere around 10 billion to 15 billion euro ($13.6 billion to $20.4 billion). The development would follow Las Vegas Sands' business model of combining meeting, incentive, convention, and exhibition space (MICE) with a sprawling casino. So far that has worked in Las Vegas, Macau, and Singapore, but a move to Europe is the biggest gamble yet.
A move into Spain isn't the no-brainer that Las Vegas Sands' moves into Macau and Singapore were. Asian gamblers, and VIPs in particular, have an affinity for games of chance, and the close vicinity of billions of people didn't hurt the proposition. There was also help from Wynn Resorts
Macau and Singapore also hold virtual monopolies on gaming in Asia, but Europe has a slew of competition a train ride away. Germany, Greece, Portugal, and of course Monaco all have casinos that provide competition to Spain.
Then there's the issue of cost versus the possible return on investment. The Spanish development would likely cost more than Las Vegas Sands has spent on the casinos it has opened in Macau and Singapore combined. That would be a huge gamble for Las Vegas Sands and would only add more debt to a company that almost met its end because of debt two years ago (barring asset sales in Macau). I liked the big bet on Macau, but a big bet in Spain is a different story. Unemployment is roughly 20%, the economy is in bad shape, and there's already engrained competition. Could Spain be worth a possible $20 billion investment?
What do you think about Las Vegas Sands building a Strip in Spain? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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