Macau Rains On Marina Bay Sands Parade

The $5.5 billion Marina Bay Sands casino opened its offices for business in Singapore in April and generated revenues which exceeded its investors’ wildest dreams. Only the experience and expertise of Company President Michael Leven brought a sense of calm to the corporate operation.

The Nevada Supreme Court ignored the $60 million verdict in November that a Clark County jury had to pay a Hong Kong businessman after a lengthy trial which started in 2008.

Before 2008 Adelson 77, was one of the richest men in the U.S. As a result of the poor economy stocks have dropped by more than $140 per share to less than $2 in Las Vegas Sands and compelled the company to avoid total bankruptcy by means of a total shake-up of its corporate balance sheet.

By the fall of 2010 Adelson climbed 13 positions on Forbes magazine’s list of the 400 richest Americans. He is the richest man in Nevada and ended up in 13th position with a net worth of $14.7 billion.

The question one has to ask why is Macau suddenly making matters difficult for him?

The beginning of December saw the Macau government smash a segment of the company’s Cotai Strip expansion plans; it refused the Company permission to build hotel-casinos on two undeveloped properties. In essence more than a $100 million has been spent by Las Vegas Sands in preparation for the sites ‘construction.

A couple of days later authorities in Macau exposed an alleged prostitution syndicate working out of The Venetian Macau, more than a 100 prostitutes and 22 pimps were taken into custody.

Does Macau support prostitution? In essence the authorities has turned a blind eye in the past to Stanley Ho’s Hotel Lisboa, where prostitutes operated for a very long time, it become a great tourist attraction and was aptly nicknamed, “the corral.”

The day the pimps and prostitutes were apprehended Adelson flew into Macau, further exacerbating his awkwardness with the Macau government. There are numerous reasons as to why exactly Adelson’s popularity has declined with the government of Macau. This could be seen as one of the main reasons why Adelson has decided to focus on Singapore as well; since the revenue that could be generated from land-based casinos in Singapore is truly astronomical and he does not have to put all his eggs into one basket.

Testimony throughout the 2008 trial uncovered Macau’s gaming concession developments. An unlawful cessation lawsuit filed in October by the previous president of the company’s Macau operations threatens to expose said allegations of “indecent control against higher-ranking government officials of Macau.”

Only time will tell what evils have been done in Macau in 2010 and one will know soon enough if it will spill over into 2011.



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