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Sheldon Adelson Pledges $10B For Japan Casino

Las Vegas Sands Would 'Spend Whatever It Takes'


Sheldon Adelson and his Las Vegas Sands Corp. reportedly have thrown out plans for a hefty investment in Japan, should the country legalize brick-and-mortar casinos.

According to Bloomberg, Adelson would spend $10 billion to put a casino in the midst of the world’s third most prosperous economy. Some gambling is allowed in Japan right now, but casinos are prohibited. The country will host the 2020 Olympics, and lawmakers have expressed interest in seeing casinos by then in order to maximize profits from the event.

“We will spend whatever it takes,” Adelson said 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.”

Adelson is one of the richest men in the world, with a net worth of around $28.5 billion.

Interestingly, his words “spend whatever it takes” are precisely what he said when promising to oppose the spread of online gambling in the United States. Sands is the largest casino developer in the world in terms of revenue, and it apparently doesn’t need to worry about games in cyberspace, unlike some of its competitors in North America.

Adelson is also engaged in an expensive lobbying effort in the Sunshine State to try and bring a massive casino resort to South Florida. Disney is opposing him.

The $10 billion potential Japan investment actually is dwarfed by what Adelson once envisioned for casinos in Spain. He wanted to spend $35 billion, but those plans were eventually mucked.

Sands makes most of its money from Macau, which as a whole saw gaming revenue of more than $45 billion in 2013, around four times the size of the entire state of Nevada.