Sanford C. Bernstein, a brokerage firm, says that Las Vegas Sands’ new Asian project will most likely be focused on Thailand.
Sands Chairman and CEO Rob Goldstein revealed this week that the company is in talks with a “big country” in Asia about building a casino resort similar to Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
Vitaly Umansky, a Bernstein analyst, said: “We believe LVS is hinting at a potential opportunity in Thailand which has seen an increase in interest from the government on looking at gaming legalization. This is not the first time Thailand has been talked about as a gaming opportunity. The market potential could be substantial; however, as with all gaming legalizations, the devil is in the details.”
Sands made their intentions for a casino and conference complex in Thailand public in 2015, with plans to build a casino and convention complex near Bangkok’s airport.
Back then, the company’s Vice President of Communications, Krist Boo, was cited as saying:
“We want to invest in Thailand if we are given permission. It must be the kind of integrated resort as in Singapore. We have been searching for new investments not only in Thailand but also in all places. Although Thailand has no casino act yet, if this is about to happen, it is very interesting. We would love to have an integrated resort at a place close to the [Bangkok] city center or financial center, near the international airport.”
Media reports back then linked Las Vegas Sands with developing an old railway depot site in Bangkok.
According to research conducted by Rangsit University’s College of Social Innovation, the implementation of casinos in Thailand might produce annual tax revenues of about US$2.8 billion.
According to the analysis, a foreigner-only casino sector would attain a gaming tax of TH$100 billion in half the time it took Singapore to reach that level.
Thailand and Brunei are two of the most populous Asian countries that do not have authorized casinos. There are at least 120 licensed casinos in Thailand’s neighboring countries, the most majority of which are in Cambodia and Laos.
Last year, the House of Representatives appointed a 60-member special committee to assess the merits of a casino in boosting tourism and the local economy.
In January, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha suggested that casinos may help Thailand exit COVID, with Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) head Gen Prawit Wongsuwon remarking, “Look at the countries around us. Our people also go to those casinos.”