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Competitor seeks Las Vegas Sands’ Cotai Strip sites

Chinese media reported today that Hong Kong-based SJM Holdings has asked the Macau government to give the company two undeveloped Cotai Strip sites currently controlled by Las Vegas Sands Corp.
SJM, which has 18 casinos in Macau and is controlled by 88-year-old billionaire Stanley Ho, has reportedly made the request in writing to the Macau government.
As of June 30, Las Vegas Sands had invested about $102 million to prepare the sites. The company is focused development attention on two other sites, which will house four hotel-casinos. The projects stalled almost two years because of financing issues, but the company has restarted work on the projects.
JP Morgan gaming analyst Joe Greff told investors this morning he didn’t believe the Macau government would take the sites from Las Vegas Sands.
“That said, we do believe the government is working with SJM and the other concessionaires so that each has a presence on the Cotai Strip,” Greff said in a research note.
Wynn Resorts Ltd. and MGM Resorts International have expressed interest in developing hotel-casinos on the Cotai Strip.
“In recent months the Macau government has threatened to take back undeveloped land on Coati, as it looks to develop the region in a timely fashion,” Greff said.

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