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Las Vegas Sands’ Adelson takes medical leave of absence


Las Vegas Sands chairman and chief executive Sheldon Adelson will take a medical leave of absence after resuming undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, with  president and chief operating officer Robert G. Goldstein stepping into both roles.

Las Vegas Sands did not reveal the length of the leave of absence.

Adelson founded Las Vegas Sands in 1988 after he led the purchase of the Sands Casino. The business soon built the Sands Expo and Convention Center. The Sands Casino was then demolished 1996, to be replaced with the Venetian, which opened in 1999.

Adelson – who is 87 years old – then played a major role in Macau’s transformation into the world’s largest gambling destination.

Las Vegas Sands won one of three initial gambling concessions and building Sands Macau in 2004, followed by a series of other casinos in the region. In 2010, the business built Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

Las Vegas Sands reported revenue of $13.7bn in 2019, making it the largest private gaming operator – land-based or online – by revenue in the world. 

However, the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis had a severe impact on the operator’s revenue, particularly in Macau. Casino closures and travel restrictions meant the business made only $1.88bn in revenue for the first half of the year, down 73.1%, and a further $586m in Q3. The business has lost $1.77bn so far for the year to date.

Rumours emerged late last year that the business would sell off its US properties in order to focus on the Asian market, though Sands has not yet commented on the speculation.

Yesterday, Las Vegas Sands published its first ever Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report. The report revealed that it has hit two of its three environmental sustainability goals and is on course for a third.