Vegas casino tries for more funds
By staff
Las Vegas Sands, owners of The Venetian casino, has increased its initial public share offering to more than $500 million.

Funds that were originally at $350 million in September are expected to be used to build the new Palazzo casino, which is under construction and is scheduled to open in 2007 next to The Venetian, as well as expanding the company's presence in Macau. Las Vegas Sands has also announced agreements to build casinos in the United Kingdom.

According to the filing, Las Vegas Sands plans to offer 23.8 million shares at an estimated price range of $20 to $22 per share, with a payout of $524 million.

A spokesman for Las Vegas Sands said: 'The concentration of luxury and themed casino-hotels and resorts is expected to continue encouraging visitor interest in Las Vegas as a business event and vacation destination and, as a result, increase overall demand for hotel rooms, gaming and entertainment.'

The 3,000-room Venetian casino was opened on the Strip in 1999 on the site of the demolished Sands. With travel to Las Vegas surging, Las Vegas Sands opened a $275 million hotel tower expansion to The Venetian last year.

Las Vegas Sands revenue in the third quarter rose 88 percent to $343.6 million.

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