One of the biggest names in the casino business is staring collapse in the face, it was feared last night.

Shares in Las Vegas Sands crumbled by more than A THIRD after the one-time high-flying casino company said it was unlikely to be able to pay it debts.

Bosses at Sands yesterday told regulators that if it can’t find more investors it could well default on its IOUs.

Last year Sands shares topped $150 each, but by the end of trading in New York yesterday they had fallen another $3.81 to close at $7.85.

‘Over’

Sands is the most high profile victim of the economic meltdown in Las Vegas. It has also been hit in Macau where its properties have been hurt by new restrictions on visas for gamblers arriving from mainland China.

“The good times for the gaming industry are over — at least in the short-term outlook,” said Joseph Weinert, a senior vice president at Spectrum Gaming, an industry consultancy.

“As we see with Las Vegas Sands, even the titans of the industry are having to make major concessions with respect to their financial structures, development plans and operations.

“This industry is not for the timid right now.”






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