Las Vegas Sands drops out of Japan IR bid

Content Team 3 years ago
Las Vegas Sands drops out of Japan IR bid

A multi-decade quest for what was one of the biggest prizes in the global gambling business has come to an end for Las Vegas Sands

Las Vegas stands
Some analysts predicted the casino market’s worth to be around $20 billion annually or more, due to the country’s affluent population and the proximity to Asia’s wealthy gamblers

US casino giant Las Vegas Sands has dropped put of the Integrated Resort or IR race in Japan, after years of pursuit to be one of the casino operators in the country.  

Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson said that “the framework around the development of an IR has made our goals there unreachable.” 

One of the biggest hurdles for the license is its 10-year concessionaire contract and the discretion to change regulations along the way. Sands Macau and Singapore has been granted license to operate for 30 and 20 years.  

In a statement, Adelson said “We are grateful for all of the friendships we have formed and the strong relationships we have in Japan, but it is time for our company to focus our energy on other opportunities. 

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.  

Las Vegas Sands
With Japan’s tourisim industry heavily impcted by COVID-19, Sands’ decision not to participate in the IR race was a disappointment to the tourism industry.

Japan has been focusing on tourism to boost the country’s economy, and Sands’ decision not to participate in the IR race is a disappointment to the tourism industry. The country has been developing a regulatory framework to legalise the casino industry, but delays in legislative processes had presented challenges into finalizing the regulation.  

Japan’s tourism industry is heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Visitors declined by 58 percent in February compared to the same month last year, higher than during the devastating March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster.  

The country is considered to be one of the best markets for regulated casinos given its love for pachinko machines, which generates millions of dollars in revenue. Legislation for allowing casinos in the country was passed in 2016 and many industry analysts predict Japan to be next to Macau in terms of gaming revenue 

Earlier this month, Wakayama, one of the Japanese prefectures vying for the casino host location, revealed that Suncity Group Holdings Japan Company Limited and Clairvest Neem Ventures both submitted a request for proposal for the plans to develop an integrated resort in the area.  

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