Las Vegas Sands CEO disappointed in New York licensing delays, interested in Thailand

Home » Las Vegas Sands CEO disappointed in New York licensing delays, interested in Thailand

The CEO of Las Vegas Sands said he’s disappointed in the delay in the casino-licensing process in New York and excited about the prospects of gaming in Thailand.

Rob Goldstein made the comments Wednesday during a first-quarter earnings call.

In March, it was reported that New York state won’t decide on issuing casino licenses in the New York City area until late 2025 at the earliest, thus pushing back openings. State officials are waiting on New York City to approve a zoning amendment to make it easier for casinos to find locations among the city’s five boroughs.

Las Vegas Sands has faced its own issues in its plan to develop a multi-billion resort and casino around the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, on Long Island, that has faced opposition from Hofstra University. In March, a state Supreme Court judge said Sands lacks a valid lease for the Coliseum and surrounding land and that Nassau County must start the process over and conduct an environmental review.

“We’re very disappointed by New York,” Goldstein said. “We’ve been working there for a long time and we thought it would happen in 2024. Now, they’re saying 2025 or 2026. We don’t have any clarity and to be honest, it’s confusing and disappointing. We’ve put a lot of time and work into New York, but I have no guidance. We wish they’d figure it out and let us know. We’ll remain hopeful that things turn around there.”

A question from Wall Street analyst Chad Beynon from Macquarie U.S. Equity Research prompted a response about Thailand. Beynon suggested that an integrated resort could open in Thailand ahead of one in Japan and asked if the market was big enough for Sands to open a resort in the Southeast Asian country.

“We absolutely have interest in Thailand,” Goldstein said. “It could happen quicker than in Japan, that’s conceivable. It’s early days, though, and we have work to do with the numbers and understanding it. It’s a very exciting market at a lot of levels with its sheer size of population and accessibility and willingness of people to travel to Thailand. It’s one of the (best) resort destinations in Asia. There will be a lot of pent-up desire among both business and government to work toward this. We’re listening and doing the work to find out what makes sense there and we’ll keep you posted.”

In March, MGM Resorts International CEO BIll Hornbuckle talked about the prospects in Thailand as well.

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