Las Vegas Sands Corp says it is not worried about the reported crackdown on unregistered China UnionPay terminals in Macau.
“We are not concerned. There may be some changes but [the] long-term is just fine,” Rob Goldstein, president of global gaming operations for LVS, said during its annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday.
Macau authorities and China UnionPay are allegedly cracking down on the use of bogus transactions done in Macau to circumvent mainland China’s tight cross-border money controls. That is thought by some analysts to have had an impact on mass-market gambling in recent weeks.
“UnionPay is an international programme. UnionPay was not made for Macau, it’s all over the world and it’s the biggest Chinese credit card [company],” said Sheldon Adelson (pictured), chairman and chief executive of U.S.-based LVS.
From our standpoint, the only thing they are changing is cutting the [card] swiping completely and moving the UnionPay jewellery shops outside the casino. Nothing to worry about,” he added.
Mr Adelson said the company is using consultants to find a replacement for 76-year-old president Michael Leven.
The company announced last month that Mr Leven will retire when his contract expires at the end of the year. A committee led by the board of directors is expected to recommend a replacement.
“We are in the process of retaining an executive search firm to conduct a search for a replacement for Mr Leven,” Mr Adelson said.
“We will have the entire operations covered by replacing one fellow that didn’t continue with the company. We’ll have gaming headed by Rob Goldstein and non-gaming headed by the other fellow,” said Mr Adelson.
Chris Cahill, the company’s former executive vice president of global operations, resigned in March.
Last week, Mr Goldstein was voted onto the board of Macau subsidiary Sands China Ltd.
The 80-year-old Mr Adelson reiterated that he has no plans to step aside and is not considering relinquishing his chief executive title and role. “Eighty is the new 60. I’m celebrating my 60th birthday twice,” he said.
LVS is enjoying big profits and it is working to expand its footprint in Asia.
The company is on track to add thousands of hotel rooms by the end of next year in Macau, after it completes a St. Regis Tower and the Parisian Macao. The latter property includes 3,000 hotel rooms and is scheduled to be open in November 2015.
The company also has its eyes on Japan and South Korea. Mr Adelson said LVS will continue pursuing large scale development opportunities in Asia. Japan and Korea are the principal focus, “as they present the most promising and meaningful development opportunities globally,” he said.
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"We warn the cross-border gambling crime suspects to stop their criminal acts, to return to the country, and turn themselves in so that they could still be granted lenient treatment"
Spokesman from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs