Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson is being stripped of its signature catchphrase.
On Friday, Las Vegas Sands released a statement detailing its strategic goals during the coronavirus pandemic, the effect of which Chairman / CEO Adelson called “unprecedented, and I have never seen anything like it in my over seventy years in business.”
In keeping with Sands’ recent decision to continue to pay its furloughed workers in Las Vegas, Adelson said the company’s “greatest priority during this difficult time remains our deep commitment to supporting our team members and assisting each of our local communities of Macao, Singapore and Las Vegas.”
Sands closed its Vegas casinos in mid-March, while its Sands Marina Bay resort in Singapore was forced to close for a month on April 7. After their 15-day closure in February, Sands China’s Macau casinos have reopened but the demand for Macau remains a shadow of its former self.
Sands was a money-printing machine before the current crisis hit and Adelson said the company’s “balance sheet strength will enable us to emerge from this pandemic with all our promising future growth opportunities fully intact.”
Sands has, however, agreed to suspend its dividend programme to maintain the strong balance sheet the Adelson called “a vital and necessary component to realising stockholder value in the decades ahead.”
Anyone who has heard a quarterly earnings call from Sands should know that there is always a point where Adelson departs from the prepared text to utter the word “yay, dividends! “Adelson told investors on Friday that this term” is still my mantra. “As the largest shareholder of Sands, Adelson said that his interests” are very directly aligned “with all Sands investors and vowed to “revisit the suspension of the dividend at the earliest reasonable opportunity.”
Adelson was once again the biggest gaming industry exec on the annual Forbes Billionaires list, and although its net worth took a hit from the pandemic, Forbes’ real-time ranking shows its net worth has risen by more than $5b since the list came out earlier this month, including a $540m jump in just the past 24 hours.