Chinas Digital RMB a positive for Macau gaming operators: Rob Goldstein

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Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Rob Goldstein believes the likely addition of Chinas Digital RMB as legal tender in Macau would serve as a positive for the SARs gaming operators by adding a new form of liquidity.

The question of how the Digital RMB might impact Macau was raised during the companys 1Q21 earnings call on Thursday (Asia time) after Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng revealed earlier this month that the government is planning to amend its financial laws to allow for its introduction.

Exactly how a digital currency might impact Macaus casino operators has been a point of contention given it would be traceable and allow Beijing to better track how and where money was being used. It is also seen as another blow to junkets by largely eliminating the use of underground banking channels.

However Goldstein, who also serves as Chairman and CEO of Sands China, said the Digital RMB could in fact help operators expand their customer base.

Some people are concerned, were not. We think its an additional form of liquidity into the market, he told analysts during Thursdays earnings call.

We view it as a positive. We would love to have more cross-border currency. Its another form of currency. And we shouldnt only be concerned our business is not built on money laundering or on a necessary junket profile.

Were looking to focus on the mass customer, premium mass, thats our bread and butter. Thats who we are and where we want to go in the future, and we can build a business that keeps growing on the back of that.

More visitation, more penetration in China, more ways were getting people to gamble and visit Macau is what were looking for.

The Digital RMB is another value add to it. I think its positive. I know the common wisdom is that its going to be turbulent but I dont want people thinking that way.

Its not an immediate concern nor a long-term concern. It may be a very positive thing for the Macau market as it becomes more traditional, more integrated into China and more consumer-friendly. It will be very positive for us.