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Las Vegas Sands draws big loan for Singapore expansion

Mon, Sep 9, 8:36am by Staff Writer

Las Vegas Sands, the casino operator founded and controlled by billionaire mogul Sheldon Adelson is leveraging itself a little more.

Calvin Ayre reported that the company has filed a notice with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it secured a new multi-billion dollar loan to help with its expansion efforts in Singapore.

The loan agreement follows an announcement earlier this year that it wanted outsider money to finance expanded operations at the company’s Marina Bay Sands in the country.

According to the filing, Sands now has a delayed-draw term loan with an aggregate principal amount of $2.71 billion, shy of the $6 billion that it sought this past June.

The money will be used to “finance project costs associated with the expansion project” at Marina Bay Sands “pursuant to its development agreement” with the Singapore Tourism Board.

That agreement was made between the STB and LVS in April and allowed MBS to grow in size and scale.

The deal also included approval for Genting Singapore Ltd to expand its Resorts World Sentosa and both operations were given authorisation to maintain their duopoly on Singapore’s gambling scene, provides certain major investments were made.

Now that the money is secured, LVS will be able to move forward with its expansion project, which the company’s chief operating officer and president, Robert Goldstein expects to be complete by January 1, 2024.

Goldstein made the assertion during an earnings call this past July, at which time he explained that LSV is prepared to spend $3.3 billion to grow the MBS property.

Singapore cashing in on local casino entry fees

Higher entrance fees haven’t stopped rich Singaporeans of those feeling lucky from flocking to the country’s two casinos.

Bloomberg reported in May that the city-state has received about US$954 million in entrance fees from citizens and permanent residents since 2010 even as tourists are allowed to enter for free, Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo said in a response to a question in parliament on Monday.

Levies for Singaporeans and permanent residents to enter either Resorts World Sentosa or the more glitzy Marina Bay Sands were raised to S$150 a day or S$3000 a year last month.

That’s up from S$100 and S$2000.

Singapore initially introduced the charges to deter locals from gambling.

“The daily and annual entry levies serve to deter casual and impulse gambling by locals and are part of a holistic suite of social safeguards,” Teo said.

“Between 2010 and 2018, the number of local visitors to the casinos declined by 50 per cent.”

Singapore said last month it would extend the exclusive licences for the two casino operators until 2030 after they pledged to invest S$9 billion in additional tourism attractions.

Las Vegas Sands Corp’s Singapore venture will build a fourth tower at Marina Bay Sands plus a new entertainment arena, while Genting Singapore Ltd.’s Resorts World will construct two new theme zones and enlarge its aquarium.

For the new attractions to remain commercially viable, the government also agreed for both operators to increase their gaming facilities, beyond the current approved 15,000 square metres and 2,500 gaming machines each.

Marina Bay Sands will be given an option to expand its gaming area by an extra 2000 square metres and add 1000 more machines, while Resorts World can choose to add an extra 500 square metres and 800 more machines.

As part of the overall expansion, the duo will pay around S$2.3 billion for extra land, the New Paper reported, citing Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Chee Hong Tat.

Big plans for Singapore’s casinos

Marina Bay Sands is vying with Galaxy Macau for the mantel of the world’s most profitable casino property and will build a 15,000 seat indoor arena at the foot of a 1,000 suite luxury hotel tower.

The new tower, on a lot owner Las Vegas Sands and founder Sheldon Adelson have long coveted across the street from the current three hotel towers, sounds like a mini Marina Bay Sands, with a dramatic atrium and rooftop fool area.

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