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Tokyo Casino Likely Off Table: Report

Potential $10 Billion Casino From Adelson Drawing Slim


According to a report from Reuters, Japan legalizing Las Vegas-style casinos and having one of them ready in Tokyo by the 2020 Olympics is increasingly unlikely.

The governor of Tokyo recently downgraded his team that is tasked with preparing for the possible casino, the report said. The issue is too huge and sensitive for some in Tokyo to take up while also preparing for the Olympics themselves. Construction costs are rising.

The news is pretty bad for Las Vegas Sands Corp. and its billionaire owner Sheldon Adelson. Adelson has pledged to spend $10 billion on a casino in Tokyo.

“We will spend whatever it takes,” Adelson said in Tokyo earlier this year. “We could pay all cash. We don’t have to, but we will borrow money in a typical mortgage-to-value ratio.”

A casino in Tokyo has been put on the back-burner for the time being and thus probably makes the idea of one there at all less attractive to potential developers.

Casinos are still possible elsewhere in the country, but revenue estimates for other cities would not be as large, given that the Games are in Tokyo. The Japan casino plan was originally touted as a way to capture more dollars for the huge spike in tourism the Olympics bring.

According to Reuters, Caesars is still interested in a casino in Osaka.

Experts say that Japan’s casino market could be worth $40 billion annually, which is close to what Macau casinos won from gamblers in 2013. (Macau has been struggling lately however.) The entire state of Nevada won around $11.14 billion from gamblers last year.

While Tokyo is looking grim, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government last month created a task force to jump start preparations for casinos in the nation and that appears unaffected.

Legalization could come sometime this fall.

Some gambling is allowed in Japan right now, but casinos are currently prohibited.

Tags: Japan,   Casinos,   Poker Business,   Tokyo


over 6 years ago

" The entire state of Nevada won around $11.14 from gamblers last year."

Wow, Las Vegas is struggling worse than I thought...........