Adelson taking medical leave from Las Vegas Sands

Wall Street and the gaming industry weighed in Thursday on the announcement that Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson would be taking a leave of absence to resume treatments for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as the company’s Las Vegas properties are on the sale’s block.

The announcement comes as Adelson has been exploring the sale of the Venetian and Palazzo casino resorts and Sands Expo Convention Center attached to focus on Asia. That was first reported in late October and if any deal goes through it would mean the exit of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. from the Las Vegas market.

This week’s move means that the boards of the Las Vegas Sands and Sands China selected Rob Goldsten, the president and chief operating officer, as the acting chairman and CEO.

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Deutsche Bank gaming analysts Carlo Santarelli and Steven Pizzella reminded people that the 87-year-old Adelson underwent treatment in 2019 but “remained fairly involved in activities of the company” during his treatment regimen.

“We believe, and we believe investors concur, Mr. Goldstein is more than simply well equipped to perform the active duties in the absence of Mr. Adelson during his treatment,” the duo said. “Further, as it pertains to the international activities of LVS, we believe relevant governments are aware that the commitments made by Mr. Adelson, on behalf of the company, are generational and as such, we do not believe there will be concerns around a change in strategy in Mr. Adelson’s absence.”

Brendan D. Bussmann, director of government affairs for Global Market Advisors, said he doesn’t see anything changing at the Sands “in the foreseeable future off it’s vision and direction.” He wished Adelson good health in his fight against cancer.

As for the sale of the properties, Bussmann said this announcement won’t change anything around what was previously announced by Adelson and the company executives.

“I don’t see anything changing in the direction in the short term that would cause any hiccups should a pending sale come through of Las Vegas assets,” Bussmann said. 

Bussmann called the sale “a multi-billion-dollar question” and that there are a lot of “rumors out there but nothing has come to fruition since this came up at the end of October.”