Las Vegas Sands Interested In Yokohama for Japanese IR

Las Vegas Sands (LVS) is one of the competitors for receiving a license from the Government of Japan. The operators who receive one such license will be able to build three planned integrated resorts in the Country of the Rising Sun.

One of the hotspots that many casino operators are interested in is Osaka, Japan. It is a tourist hotspot, and many other things are already planned for this area, including the upcoming World Expo.

However, CEO Sheldon Adelson and his LVS decided to pull off from the Osaka race and shifted their focus to Yokohama and Tokyo. The company published an official statement on Thursday, stating that their main focus was now Yokohama and Tokyo.

This is really an interesting change of plans, as George Tanasijevich, Managing Director of Global Development for Sands, stated this June that he didn’t think Tokyo or Yokohama were good choices. He believed that the chances for LSV to win the license for the two cities were rather low.

In fact, Las Vegas Sands has been interested in Osaka for years and even partnered up with local businesses in order to promote their possible casino operations in the area. However, totally unexpectedly, the CEO of Las Vegas Sands issued a statement, saying that the company wanted to “target new development opportunities.” He added that those opportunities would allow the company to maintain “industry-leading returns on invested capital.”

In his statement, Adelson acknowledged the fact that his company and the government of Osaka had been “engaged in a conversation” regarding the possible collaboration on building a “world-class” IR in that city.

At the same time LVS withdrew from the Osaka competition, Yokohama announced that it was waiting for a proposal regarding a possible IR in that area. It seems that LVS saw an opportunity that they shouldn’t miss in this city. The integrated resort is planned to be constructed on Yamashita Pier.

Yokohama Was Not Sure About An IR

Yokohama’s opinion about having an integrated resort in their yard was changing with time. The city was at first not interested in having a casino as its officials and citizens were concerned about crime and other problems.

According to a poll that took place last September in Yokohama, 97 percent of the citizens did not have a positive attitude towards casinos. However, Yokohama mayor Fumiko Hayashi stated that he had reached a conclusion that the city needed an IR in order to “achieve growth and development.”

Japan’s national government will definitely grant three licenses, and Osaka is currently considered the No. 1 area for building the first IR. Many other cities are in the race, but Yokohama and Tokyo seem like most probable candidates.

Apart from Las Vegas Sands, a couple of other popular casino operators are working hard in order to be selected by the Japanese government and awarded a license for running an IR. Some of these companies are Melco Resorts & Entertainment, Wynn Resort, and more.

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