Is Sheldon Adelson ready to sell off his Las Vegas casinos? According to Bloomberg News, the answer is yes, and that should excite some poker players.
Adelson is the CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp., which owns the Venetian and Palazzo on the Strip, along with other casinos outside of Nevada, most notably the Sands and Venetian in Macau, China. The company, founded in 1988, employs more than 50,000 employees worldwide.
In a report by Bloomberg News, Sands Corp. is currently seeking $6 billion for its Las Vegas casinos. The proposed sale would also include the Sands Convention Center, which often plays host to the Venetian Deepstack Championship Summer Series.
Venetian is home to one of the most popular poker rooms in Las Vegas. Some of the top grinders in town play in the 35-table card room, though there are some who refuse to play there due to the casino being affiliated with Adelson.
Adelson has long fought to ban online gambling, including poker, in the United States. He lobbied to push through the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) bill in 2014. Had the proposed measure passed through Congress, online poker would have again been deemed illegal nationwide. But in 2017, three years after it was introduced, RAWA was officially shot down.
As it stands, individual states have a right to determine the legality of online poker, but only four states — Delaware, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and New Jersey — currently have legal poker sites in operation. Adelson’s lobbying efforts have halted the growth of online poker in the US.
Is Adelson Ready to Leave Las Vegas?
Adelson is worth more than $30 billion, according to Forbes, making him the 28th-richest person in the world. He made the bulk of his money in the casino industry, much of it in Las Vegas. Now, it appears he just might be ready to leave Sin City.
Bloomberg, whose sources weren’t disclosed, reports that Sands is just in the early stages of seeking a sale, and that the company wants $6 billion for its Las Vegas properties.
According to the report, the potential sale could free up some money for Sands to focus on future projects. The gaming industry giant would continue operating its non-Las Vegas casinos.
Bloomberg journalists Gillian Tan and Christopher Palmeri argue that the move makes sense due to COVID-19. With the pandemic negatively impacting the Las Vegas convention industry, they argue, Sands is better suited to focus outside of Nevada.
Following the Bloomberg report, Sands Corp’s stock briefly saw a 12% spike before settling in at $49.13 per share.