THE M3: SANDS AUDITOR QUITS; SJM SMOKING; LOUIS XIII HOTEL/CASINO

The Macau Metro Monitor, April 29, 2013

SANDS CASINO SAYS AUDITOR QUITS ACCOUNT WSJ

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, resigned this week after a 25-year relationship with Adelson.   A person familiar with the situation said the legal and regulatory scrutiny of LVS was "the overriding issue" behind PwC's resignation.  Personal tension between Adelson and the accounting firm also played a role.  In an SEC filing, Sands didn't cite the reason for the resignation but said the company's longtime auditor hasn't had major substantive disagreements in recent years over accounting and disclosure issues that would have required disclosure in the company's financial statements.

LVS spokesman Ron Reese said there was nothing in Sands' discussions with PwC that would indicate that its decision not to continue as auditor relates to any nonpublic information about litigation or investigations. Adelson's challenging demeanor and demands on the auditors led to a deterioration in the relationship, according to people familiar with the matter.

Auditors resign from clients from time to time over simple matters such as personality disagreements, but it can be a red flag when coupled with an investigation and is something investors should pay attention to, said Lynn Turner, a former chief accountant of the SEC, speaking generally.

SJM TO IMPROVE AIR QUALITY INSIDE CASINOS: AMBROSE SO Macau Business

SJM CEO So said SJM committed to improving the air quality inside the smoking areas of its casinos.  So said the company was not able to comply straight away with the government standards in all of its properties because the majority were old and were not designed to include smoking and non-smoking zones.  Smoking areas inside 16 of SJM Holdings’ 19 casinos and slot machine parlours did not comply with the government’s minimum air quality requirements, according to a March review by the Health Bureau.  Most of these venues were run by third-party companies.

LOUIS XIII BREAKS GROUND IN COTAI Macau Business

Hong Kong-listed Louis XIII Holdings Ltd hosted an official groundbreaking ceremony last weekend for its boutique casino-hotel in Cotai, also named Louis XIII.  The company’s executive director Stephen Hung says the hotel’s top suite will cost US$130,000 (MOP1 million) per night, the Financial Times reported.  The former Hong Kong banker says he wants people to patronise the hotel because “it’s the best and the most expensive”.  Hung is planning to include an invitation-only atelier of luxury brands offering bespoke couture at the property.


The company, formerly called Paul Y Engineering, is planning to locate the casino-hotel next door to the residential complex One Oasis, and to include 236 rooms and up to 66 live gaming tables.  The casino is still awaiting formal government approval.