International edition
June 23, 2021

Legalization would make Japan Asia’s largest casino market

Las Vegas casinos eye Japan

(Japan).- MGM Resorts said it’s ready to spend USD 5 billion to UDS 10 billion in Japan, a day after its competitor, billionaire Sheldon Adelson, said he would consider investing us$10 billion on a casino project in Japan.

M

GM Resorts wants to own at least 51 percent in a partnership with Japanese companies for projects in the country, James Murren, CEO, said in Tokyo. Legalization would make Japan Asia’s largest casino market after Macau, according to Union Gaming Group estimates.

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson said Monday his Las Vegas Sands would consider investing us$10 billion on a casino project in Japan. Tokyo’s selection to host the 2020 Olympic Games has boosted expectations that gambling resorts, under discussion for a decade, will be made legal as it could boost tourism, help build out infrastructure and revive local economies.

“We will overinvest early on to ensure, as we have done everywhere else, that we have properties that are built to last and that would stand additional competition,” Murren said, speaking today at a CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets forum. The final investment amount would depend on conditions such as the tax rate, he said.

CLSA estimates Japan’s casino market could eventually generate us$40 billion in annual revenue, trailing only the southern Chinese city of Macau in Asia. The former Portuguese enclave had us$45.2 billion casino gaming revenue in 2013, seven times that of the Las Vegas Strip.

Hiroyuki Hosoda, the chairman of a cross-party group of pro-casino lawmakers, said today he expects the casino bill will win parliamentary approval by June and wants lower house deliberations on the legislation to start around late April.

Wynn Resorts is open to a potential joint venture in Japan, President Matt Maddox said at the CLSA Forum in Tokyo today, without commenting on possible investment.
“Clearly, it would be an expensive project,” Maddox said. “The opportunity is very good, but you have to be careful in throwing out billions and billions of dollars without really understanding what the goals are of the city,” he said.

Adelson said Monday Las Vegas Sands “will spend whatever it takes” to build a Japan casino resort and is opening offices and hiring in the country. He would also consider working with a local partner, he said.

Caesars Entertainment is in informal talks with at least 30 Japanese companies to discuss potential partnership, Steven Tight, president for international development, said in an interview today. The company wants to build casinos in Tokyo and Osaka, and sees the possibility of developing projects in Okinawa, Hokkaido and Yokohama, he said.

MGM, the operator of Bellagio and Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, made about 65 percent of its revenue last year from the U.S. and the rest from its single property in Macau, in which it has a 51 percent stake. Its largest shareholder is billionaire Kirk Kerkorian.

The company’s improved results in Nevada and Macau helped it narrow its loss in the fourth quarter to us$38.3 million from us$1.2 billion a year earlier.

What is your opinion about this article?
  • I like it
    %
    0 votos
  • I don't like it
    %
    0 votos
  • I have not thought about it
    %
    0 votos
Leave your comment
Newsletter Subscription
Subscribe to receive the latest news and updates
Enter a valid email
Complete the captcha
Thank you for registering to our newsletter.
Follow us on Facebook