The relationship between Las Vegas Sands Corp. and the citizens of Macau has never been cozy, but it is now approaching open hostility.
Reports that the company has directed profits earned in Macau to other foreign developments (a charge vigorously denied by LV Sands President and COO Bill Weidner) have led to public protests recently in the SAR. The group points to the halt in construction in Macau and the continuation of construction in Singapore as proof.
“The suspensions of Parcels 5 and 6 were a direct outcome of the global credit crisis which has affected the company’s investments not only in Macau, but has also resulted in the suspension of several projects in the United States,” Weidner said.
Despite Weidner’s denials, the organization, the Concerned Residents Group, is adamant that LV Sands is betraying Macau.
“This resulted in the suspension of works in Macau and will eventually create adverse competition between Macau and Singapore. After that more local people will become jobless,” said Ip Kim Fong, the group’s coordinator.
The group is asking the government to force LV Sands to resume construction on the Cotai Strip.
“Sands Casino was given most favorable treatment by the Macau Government and granted land concessions in the Cotai area at a low price on certain representations and promises that it has now failed to fulfill: there was no significant incremental foreign tourism as originally represented and no substantial increase in convention business; and now, projects in Cotai are left uncompleted,” said Ip.
The group also objects to the trademarks that LV Sands has garnered for nearly everything Cotai- Cotai Strip, Asia’s Las Vegas, Cotai Tours, CotaiJet, CotaiRewards Club and more.