Sands top of the pile; More accusations against LVS; Thailand to be bigger than Macau?

Macau 1Sands China has increased its share of Macau’s casino market to record the highest figure ever seen by analysts Union Gaming Research. Their weighted share of customers was 38.4 percent – top of the pile between mid-June and mid-July – which was a full 2 percentage points up on the previous period. Sands pulled away from second-placed SJM Holdings, which posted 29.8 percent. That was streets ahead of Galaxy Entertainment Group (18.1 percent), who were in turn miles ahead of the rest of the field that was made up of Wynn Macau (4.8 percent), Melco Crown Entertainment (4.7 percent) and lastly MGM China (4.2 percent).

Union Gaming’s method of calculating visitation is based on casino shuttle bus customers and they’ve also extended it to individual casinos. The Venetian Macau came out on top with 21.8 percent with SJM’s Grand Lisboa and Lisboa combining for 16.9 percent and Galaxy Macau taking 5.4 percent. Sands Cotai Central, the newest casino in Macau, polled 5.4 percent – up 1.5 percent since the opening week in April.

Las Vegas Sands moved documents from Macau to the United States without permission from the enclave’s government. According to investigative site, the parent company of Sands China moved the documents across to the U.S. shortly after it fired chief executive Steve Jacobs in July 2010. This was apparently done in “error” as they only actually got permission in May this year. It came to light after a U.S. court had requested the same documents last year and there was no mention the documents had already been moved on. ProPublica first started to release allegations about Sands China last week when they showed emails that added more weight behind accusations of payment requests made by a high-ranking Beijing official.

A Thai billionaire is convinced that his country can beat Macau when it comes to gross gaming revenue. Dhanin Chearavanont told reporters this weekend that the country should legalize casinos and “if” they do they “will get more revenue than Macau”. He also added: “We already have underground businesses. They don’t pay tax and also build dark power. Why not legalize it?”