Sands China is paying parent company Las Vegas Sands as much as $377 million to continue using Sands-related trademarks in Macau as part of a new three-year agreement starting Jan. 1, 2023.
The current agreement between the parties expires on December 31. Las Vegas Sands is the majority shareholder in the China unit, which is the largest Macau concessionaire. It operates five integrated resorts in the special administrative region (SAR).
A license to use certain trademarks and service marks (a) in mainland China, Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan for the design, development, construction, ownership, management and/or operation of casinos or gaming areas (including those casinos or gaming areas which form part of a hotel or an integrated resort) and other like facilities in which customers are able to gamble by playing games of fortune or chance or other similar games [in these regions] … and (b) in the rest of the world, for the marketing, advertising and promotion of our business,” according to the new arrangement.
The maximum Sands China will pay over the three years is $377 million based on various limits, with the total amount not to exceed 1.5% of gaming and non-gaming sales.
Important Agreement for Sands China Branding
Sands China acknowledged the importance of the renewed accord with its parent company, noting it “is important to the success of the business of the Group since these licensed trademarks and service marks form an integral part of the Group’s corporate identity.”
Such arrangements are common among large US-based gaming operators with international subsidiaries. For example, MGM China announced in June that it struck a deal with MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) to continue using one of the gaming industry’s most recognizable brands. The US-based company owns about 56% of the Macau entity.
Under the terms of the agreement, MGM China has rights to use the MGM and MGM Grand brands, as well as the famous MGM lion and “other MGM-related service marks, trademarks, registrations and domain names.”
As for Sands China and LVS, the former paid the latter $109.5 million for use of its trademarks in 2019, but that figure declined to $80.1 million combined for 2020, 2021, and through the first nine months of this year. Those declines are likely the result of Macau’s ongoing slump at the hands of the coronavirus pandemic and China’s zero-COVID policy.
LVS Helping Sands China in Other Ways
Las Vegas Sands is supporting its Macau arm in other ways. For example, the US-based parent said last week it’s providing nearly $600 million in capital to Venetian Macau Ltd. to bring that entity into compliance with the SAR’s new gaming laws requiring operators to hold a specific amount of cash in reserve.
That after the US parent loaned its Macau unit $1 billion in July to bolster its liquidity.
The SAR is Sands’ largest market and it runs five casino resorts there. Its other property is Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
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