Las Vegas Sands to Invest $10 Billion in Japan

Las Vegas Sands to Invest $10 Billion in Japan

Vacation News » Asia Pacific Vacation News Edition | By WPJ Staff | February 24, 2014 9:21 AM ET

U.S. gaming giant Las Vegas Sands Corp. plans to invest $10 billion in Japan, as a bill could soon legalize casinos if passed by parliament. 

"We will spend whatever it takes," billionaire chairman and chief executive Sheldon Adelson said while at a media briefing in Tokyo. "We could pay all cash. We don't have to, but we will borrow money in a typical mortgage-to-value ratio."

The world's largest gambling company by market value is opening offices and adding staff in Japan. LVS would consider working with local partners that could provide more than a financial contribution, Bloomberg reports. 

While many forms of gambling are legal in Japan, casinos are currently banned. However, Japanese lawmakers submitted a bill to legalize casinos to parliament last December. Discussions on the bill are expected to begin during the spring session. 

"This is the best chance we have ever had for casinos in Japan, and I want to make sure this law passes," Takeshi Iwaya, a member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said at a conference in September.

Interest in legalizing casinos increaesd once Tokyo was awarded the right to host the 2020 Olympic Games. The country has attracted interest from LVS, MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts Ltd

Japan's casino market is forecast to generate $10 billion in annual revenue, behind Asia's largest market in the southern Chinese city of Macau, according to the Union Gaming Group. 

LVS invested in Macau casinos more than a decade ago and is now the largest foreign operator in the city, according to Bloomberg. Last year, Macau accounted for 61 percent of the company's adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. 

LVS is planning to focus on Asia after dropping plans to invest more than $30 billion to develop a series of integrated resorts in Madrid, Spain due to disagreements with the government. 

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