Las Vegas Sands Nears Bankruptcy

Chips are down for gaming giant
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2008 4:11 AM CST
The Palazzo in Las Vegas. Owners Las Vegas Sands say earnings are falling, leaving them in danger of defaulting on loan agreements.   (AP Photo/Las Vegas News Bureau, Glenn Pinkerton)
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(Newser) – Casino giant Las Vegas Sands is on the verge of bankruptcy, reports the Las Vegas Sun. The company, which owns the Venetian and Palazzo casinos in Las Vegas and has several gambling resorts in development around the world, filed paperwork with the federal government yesterday declaring that the Sands’ ratio of debt to earnings has fallen out of compliance with its lenders’ requirements.

The announcement—usually seen as the first step to declaring bankruptcy—confirms a precarious financial situation that investors have been aware of for some time. The company’s massive debt and ambitious growth plan have made it especially vulnerable to the financial crisis, which is affecting the entire gaming industry. The Sands’ shares have fallen 90% over the last year, and dropped 33% on news of the possible bankruptcy.