The Las Vegas Sands CEO did leave the door open for reconsideration if changes were made
In May, the US casino giant Las Vegas Sands dropped out of the Integrated Resort race in Japan, after years of pursuit to be one of the casino operators in the country. The largest casino company in the world initially planned to develop a US$10 million resort in the country, eyeing areas around Tokyo, especially city of Yokohama.
As reported by Asia Gaming Brief, Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson had offered his blunt explanation of why the casino operator dropped out of the Japan IR race and disclosed “negative regulations” as the key factor.
Adelson specifically noted that Japanese regulations “were not conducive to attracting the kind of investment it requires”, focusing on the high cost of land and construction in the country.
“They’re talking about withholding income tax from foreign winners. So, a player comes in from another country, he wins. They want us — the government wants the operator — to withhold the taxes to pay the Japanese government. That will never attract one foreigner. So, the taxes were 30% gaming taxes, 30% income taxes, and there was no assurance that they won’t raise the taxes from there.”
The Las Vegas Sands CEO did leave the door open for reconsideration if changes were made.
President and Chief Operating Officer Robert Goldstein expressed the same view, saying, “We were very bullish in Japan. We spent a lot of time and money, and we were very hopeful. But the environment there just wasn’t suitable to make the kind of investment that this company demands in terms of returns… We couldn’t make it work.”
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