Casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS) waived about US$170 million in rents to mall tenants in the first six months of this year, mainly to ones in its Macau and Singapore properties, “in response to the Covid-19 pandemic”.
That is according to information it filed in the United States on Friday. The group runs properties in Las Vegas Nevada, in the U.S.; as well as multiple resorts in Macau including The Shoppes mall at the Venetian Macao (pictured in a file photo); and at the Marina Bay Sands casino complex in Singapore.
The mall rent concession amount accounted for most of the US$181 million decline in the group’s mall revenues during the period.
Patrick Dumont, Las Vegas Sands’ executive vice president and chief financial officer, said on the company’s second-quarter earnings call, that the group was working with tenants in its malls “to help get them through this time,” a period that was “unprecedented”.
He added: “We view the mall as a very important asset, very important for our customers’ experience. We have relationships with some of the leading brands in the world and in Asia. And we want to ensure the continuity of those relationships.”
For the second quarter specifically, the rent concessions to mall tenants amounted to US$111 million, with US$78 million recorded in the Macau operations. Mall revenues for the three months to June 30 decreased US$124 million year-on-year. During the second quarter, casino complexes in Las Vegas and Singapore were completely shuttered as precautions against the spread of Covid-19.
Marina Bay Sands began to reopen its mall – initially to Sands Rewards customers – from June 19, the entire complex having been closed since April 7. The casino only reopened to select customers on July 1. The resort’s hotel started to reopen on July 17.
While casino floors in the Macau market went through a 15-day closure in February as a precaution against Covid-19, some non-gaming facilities – including in most Macau resorts the shopping malls – have stayed open. With daily tourism arrivals in Macau measured in the hundreds for most of the second quarter, the resort shopping malls have mainly been serving domestic customers.
On July 23, Las Vegas Sands said that it had swung to an attributable net loss of US$820 million in the second quarter amid the Covid-19 pandemic, compared to net income of US$954 million in the same period in 2019.
The group reported a net loss of US$51 million for the first quarter this year.
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Vitaly Umansky, Tianjiao Yu and Kelsey Zhu
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