Vnre.blogspot.com - Las Vegas Sands Corp. is mulling a project to develop a huge property complex including a casino in HCMC, said the group’s top executive.
Sheldon G. Adelson, board chairman and chief executive officer, told Vietnamese reporters in Singapore last week during a ceremony to launch a huge entertainment complex named Marina Bay Sands (MBS) that the group wanted to develop a similar complex in HCMC.
“I will go to visit Vietnam, maybe at the end of July. I have met Vietnamese officials many times in Singapore. We want to build the same thing as MBS in Vietnam, in the south and in an urban area,” said the CEO, who now ranks 25th on the Forbes’ annual list of the world’s richest.
“Here (in Singapore) we spent nearly six billion dollars. Whatever it takes, I could come and build an integrated resort (in Vietnam),” he said.
The group opened its integrated resort Marina Bay Sands (MBS) in Singapore on June 23 at a cost of US$6 billion, which is the most expensive property project in Asia and the second most costly project in the world.
He however showed concerns that business conditions for casinos in Vietnam are unfavorable.
“But I can only do it on the condition that Vietnamese people are allowed to come in. The problem is that Vietnam does not allow its citizens to get access to the casino. We want to invest in Saigon, but we cannot do that if the Government does not allow people to gamble,” he said.
Asked why Las Vegas Sands Corp. could not build integrated resorts without casinos, Sheldon explained that “MICE tourism does not generate money. The same goes with spa, the park and the museum… The reason you build such facilities is that they are auxiliaries of the casino.”
The Las Vegas, Nevada-based company owns and operates The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino, The Palazzo Resort-Hotel-Casino, and the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas and the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in Eastern Pennsylvania.
The company also owns and operates The Venetian Macao Resort-Hotel and the Sands Macao in Macao. In addition, it also owns the Four Seasons Hotel Macao and is also developing the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort in Singapore.
Marina Bay Sands Ltd, a member of Las Vegas Sands Corp., was winner in the tender for building the integrated resort in Singapore in May, 2006. The massive development is designed to occupy more than 53 million square feet of total space, less than 3% of which is casino, and will directly and indirectly employ more than 180,000 people.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. wants to develop similar complexes in Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, and Taiwan to serve the well-to-do whose number is increasing in Asia.
“I build this resort for quality customers. They have a lot of money in their pocket. My targeted market is not the poor. I target the higher market, so I built this luxury resort,” said Sheldon.
There is only one casino in Vietnam, namely Do Son Casino in Hai Phong City, which was opened in 1995 to serve foreign tourists only.