Las Vegas Sands looks to enter sports betting to catch up with Caesars

Sports Betting

For many years, late chairman of Las Vegas Sands Sheldon Adelson has rejected the move into the sports betting business, but now his deputy Roy Goldstein is examining potential entry points into the lucrative new market.

Because of Adelson’s stance against online sports betting, Las Vegas Sands is the only major US casino operator to avoid online sports betting exposure altogether. MGM Resorts, Ceasars Entertainment and Wynn Resorts have been in the fast-growing online sports betting industry for quite a while, which could be the main reason why LVS wants to enter the sector now. LVS is currently offering sports betting exclusively at The Venetian through the partnership with William Hill.

Furthermore, the global pandemic is pushing LVS to explore other options as their US-facing casinos have seen a dramatic decrease in revenue, even prompting them to offer their Las Vegas Strip locations – Venetian Palazzo and Sands Convention Center – for sale so they can focus more on their Macau and Singapore casinos.

MGM Resorts and Caesers Entertainment picked a UK bookmaker to partner with, Ladbrokes and William Hill, and LVS could do the same though a partnership with another gambling giant, 888.

Working with 888 or even buying the entire company isn’t the only option LVS has, but it would be an excellent move for LVS that would bring them at the very top of the online sports betting landscape in the US.

Meanwhile, Caesars Entertainment received US Antitrust clearance for acquiring the sports betting giant William Hill, worth $3.7 billion. Caesars reportedly continues to progress through obtaining all necessary regulatory approvals required to close the transaction and is aiming to complete the deal in March 2021, only a month or so away. William Hill shareholders have already given a green light in November.

Caesars is therefore quickly progressing to the top position in this emerging market, as they have recently signed a multi-year sports betting partnership with ESPN. The sports broadcaster will display William Hill sports betting odds and daily fantasy sports stats from DraftKings as it expands its involvement with sports betting. Currently, Caesars owns 20% of the operation, with William Hill owning the remaining 80%. This could now change as Caesars looks to buy the entire pie.

Moves by Caesars are likely the main reason why LVS is looking to now quickly jump on board, having ignored this sector for so long, and a partnership or even a takeover of 888 could be the quickest way to do so.

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