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Las Vegas Sands Remains Hopeful Despite Financial Crisis

On May 22nd, 2009, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson does not look back-even after a year when he lost $22 billion of his net worth, one of the largest falloffs of 2008. Instead, Mr. Adelson is looking ahead with his latest project: a $743 million casino facility in Bethlehem Pennsylvania that opened on May 15th, 2009. Adelson said that the casino is a very important project for them and they have done their best to make the casino work.

The shares of Las Vegas Sands Corporation dropped more than ninety-five percent last year. Casinos at the Las Vegas strip has suffered as airline have slashed fifteen percent of their seating capacity and money-forcing players to stay closer to home. Profits at Adelson's two casinos at the strip-the Venetian and the Palazzo-are down. The situation got so bad late last year that Sheldon Adelson used $1 billion of his own cash to make a debt payment and keep his company from filing for bankruptcy.

The company is cutting down costs to improve its cash flow. Adelson earlier announced additional round of 4,000 employee layoffs at his Sands Macau and Venetian Macau casino facilities, which have been affected by the worldwide financial crisis and the visa restrictions in the Chinese mainland to reduce the number of tourists going to the former Portuguese colony to gamble.

Those additional layoffs come on top of the eleven thousand layoffs he made in the fall. Despite the problems that the company faces in Macau, where profit is off by thirteen percent from a year ago, Adelson has no regrets of being the first group to construct casinos in Macau. To help Las Vegas Sands' turnaround, Adelson decided to change his top management officials this year.

Former Las Vegas Sands president William Weidner was dismissed in March and Brad Stone, executive vice president and head of the global operations and construction of Sands, resigned from his position 2 weeks later. The former president of the Sands Macau and the Venetian Macau, Mark Brown, resigned from his position last month.

Las Vegas Sands has a new President and COO (chief operating officer), Michael Leven, a new CFO (Chief Financial Officer), Kenneth Kay and new general counsel, Alberto Gonzalez. The financial crisis has forced Adelson to change some of his plans, including postponing the construction of new casinos in Macau and some hotels, a retail mall, restaurants and condominiums at the Sands Bethlehem Casino until the situation improves.


06/28/2009 21:32 PM


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