Market Overview

The Next Big Thing In Singapore: Gambling


When most people want to gamble, they go to Las Vegas; if they can't, they'll take the nearest alternative and wish they were in Vegas.

That could change if Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS) and Genting Singapore have anything to say about. The two companies are working hard to create new gambling empires in Singapore, with the goal to serve as many tourists as possible.

According to Morgan Stanley analyst Mark Strawn, "Singapore has gone from zero to a $4.5 billion gaming revenue run rate in six months.” That's an extremely impressive number. But Barron's says that the market could grow even larger, reaching $7 billion to $10 billion in annual revenue by 2012.

Singapore lifted its 40-year-ban on gambling after eyeing the success of Macau, another Asian hot spot for gambling. However, only two gambling licenses were awarded – hence the fierce competition between Las Vegas Sands and Genting Singapore.

Still, Barron's Leslie P. Norton said that there are plenty of concerns about both stocks, particularly the potential for oversaturation. Norton says that Japan is expected to let the major gaming companies operate on its shores, and that enabling legislation could materialize as soon as next year. (It could, however, take an additional five years for the first casinos to open.)

"You don't need more than a couple of million people for a market, particularly at the high-roller end,” said Sheldon Adelson, chief executive of Las Vegas Sands. “These people will come again and again…. They're already here. Asia is far from saturated. It will never be satisfied in my lifetime. It will probably not be satisfied in yours."

Posted-In: Genting Singapore Las Vegas Sands Corp. Mark Strawn Morgan Stanley Sheldon Adelson Barron'sLong Ideas Trading Ideas


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