Las Vegas Sands Corp has been coordinating with “potential partners” related to sports betting and is keeping a close eye on the development of a new betting platform.
According to Robert Goldstein, acting Chief Executive Officer, this remains in the early stages of talks, but added that the plans could include using the Sands brands or the broader development of a betting platform by the company.
It can be noted that Sands announced its founder and CEO Sheldon Adelson decided to take a medical leave for cancer treatment last week. Adelson previously opposed online betting, as he has lobbied against its legalization at the local and national level, based on moral grounds.
Adelson believes online games like slot machines make it easy for players to lose money.
Sands have been offering a sportsbook in its Venetian resorts in Las Vegas for some time now, but that business was outsourced to Cantor Gaming, now part of William Hill, which is being acquired by Caesars Entertainment.
Nineteen US states now offer sports betting, and six more have approved it and are pending implementation. The market is expected to hit as much as $10 billion by 2025, from $1.5 billion last year.
“There’s a real pressure to make sure you’re in position to cash in on the pretty substantial thirst for online gambling,” Chris Grove, an analyst at Eilers & Krejcik Gaming LLC, said.
“A lot of companies were caught by surprise by the kind of explosion it’s received,” he added.
A good example of that is MGM Resorts International’s announcement of an $11 billion offer for Entain, parent of the Landbrokes betting shops and other online wagering business last week.
All casino operators, including Sands, have significantly struggled to cope with a huge drop in business brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Betting at the company’s casinos in Singapore, Macau, and Las Vegas is still below pre-pandemic levels. Online betting is seen as a way for land-based casino operators to branch out and diversify.