Las Vegas Sands Corp. has axed its vision for what was being called a “destination casino resort” in Florida and is instead turning its focus to expanding to Georgia. After lobbying for six years in the Sunshine State against some of the biggest players in the entertainment game, including Disney, Sands has given up its fight to convince lawmakers to allow non-Seminole run casinos.
“As long as the tribe is influencing the gaming landscape, there will never be room for us,” a Sands lobbyist told SaintPetersBlog.
Sheldon Adelson, the Sands’ CEO and 18th-richest man in the world, has long had a dream of a Vegas-style casino in Miami. His company’s lobbying efforts were supposed to be part of a program in which two major casinos would be built in South Florida.
Now, the corporation will focus on Georgia lawmakers who are reportedly considering legalizing the casinos Florida is so adamantly against.
Along with the failure of this expansion attempt, Sands recently made headlines for a development in its four-year federal bribery investigation. Last weekend, Chinese billionaire Ng Lap Seng from Macau (a notorious gambling safe-haven) was arrested in New York. He is currently being held on charges of lying to officials about the purpose of the $4.5 million he brought into the United States.
Ng was reportedly involved in a series of events in which a legal advisor told Sands Corp. that a “high ranking” businessman in Beijing proposed Adelson pay $300 million to ensure that a $1.4 billion real estate deal would go through.
The shares of Las Vegas Sands are currently trading at their lowest value since 2012 ($37.54).
(Photo credit: Azchael, Creative Commons.)
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