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Sands rethinks Macau VIP strategy

Las Vegas Sands’s Macau unit is considering changing the way it markets itself to high rollers.

The decision to re-examine the marketing strategy in Macau comes amid a period of change and tension at the Hong Kong-listed unit, which has seen its CEO Steve Jacobs leave after disputes with Chairman Sheldon Adelson, as well as the new appointments of two top executives in less than one week, all while the company attempts to restart a stalled USD4 billion expansion project.

The casino will "study the economics" of using intermediaries to bolster business versus directly  to VIP players, said new CEO Mike Leven. However, while the efforts to drive direct VIP play "should ideally help margins," the strategy could "result in higher balance sheet risk," Morgan Stanley analyst Praveen Choudhary has commented.