peaking in Macau, Las Vegas gaming magnate Sheldon Adelson said the countries were eager to follow the regulatory model and bidding practices used by Singapore for the new integrated resorts.
"We are going to develop in Europe, we are still going to develop in Asia; Asia is our first preference," the billionaire said at a luncheon in his Venetian property that houses exhibition and entertainment space as well as gaming.
Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam are among the destinations Las Vegas Sands is considering, Ron Reese, the company spokesman, later clarified. "Some countries are a little further along than other countries," he told reporters.
Adelson is bullish on growth in the Asian region, adding that he was not at all surprised about the success of his Singapore property. "In the case of Macau and Singapore, they are going to continue to grow. Singapore is not ramped up at all. Macau is ramped up, but the entire universe of its market continues to grow," he said.
Adelson confirmed plans to build a EuroVegas strip in Spain, detailing that it would be twice the size of Macau's Cotai strip with 12 3,000-room properties. The gaming firm is considering either Madrid or Barcelona.
Sands China, the U.S. operator's Macau unit, will open its new casino property early next year. It will sit beside the expansive gondola-filled Venetian resort on the Cotai strip.
Adelson's Macau unit competes with U.S. rivals including Steve Wynn's Wynn Macau , MGM China as well as SJM Holdings , owned by Macau's "casino king" Stanley Ho, known for his pervasive influence on the industry.
Macau's supercharged growth has become even more magnified since the start of the year, with revenues dwarfing those of neon rival Las Vegas. Gaming revenue in the former Portuguese colony from Jan-May totalled us$ 13 billion, exceeding the us$ 10 billion Las Vegas earned for the whole of 2010.
Despite surging revenue gains, the glitzy enclave still lags far behind Las Vegas in terms of non-gaming revenue spent on activities such as retail or dining, something the Macau government hopes to change with the development of Cotai - a strip of relatively barren land about 10 minutes from the main peninsula.
"They (the Macau government) should require that the developer develops a basket of amenities that can truly be called an integrated resort," Adelson said. He shrugged off comments that Sands' expansion of integrated resorts in the rest of Asia would erode growth in Macau and Singapore.
"This is a very different industry. The integrated resorts model that we take pride in having developed is a supply driven industry. The more integrated resorts that are put up, the greater the universe that is developed," he said.