Renowned casino operator Las Vegas Sands has announced that it is no longer pursuing plans to develop a casino resort in Osaka, Japan. Instead, the behemoth casino operator plans to shift its focus on development opportunities in Tokyo and Yokohama. This announcement was made by the company’s CEO and Chairman, Sheldon Adelson, in a statement that was delivered on Thursday, August 23.
The gaming and entertainment operator is looking to further extend its regional presence in the Asian market and Japan is a great place to start since the country has recently set in motion plans to bring in the casino business through integrated resorts. Japan is now on the verge of launching the location selection and licensing process of its casino legalization process that is to turn three of its cities into major gambling and entertainment destinations. As it stands, Las Vegas Sands currently operates integrated resorts in Singapore and Macau – both of these operations have been monumental to the global success and growth of the company.
According to Sheldon Adelson, Las Vegas has for the past several years engaged in conversations with the Osaka government with regards to the possibility of building a world-class integrated resort. This was before he broke the news that the company will no longer be pursuing the license and thanked them for their support and professionalism.
“Consistent with our long-held strategy and our track record of success in achieving it, our company will drive organic growth by strongly reinvesting in our existing portfolio of properties in Macao, Singapore and Las Vegas, reward our shareholders through our dividend and share repurchase programs and target new development opportunities that allow us to maintain our industry-leading returns on invested capital – and we think an investment in Tokyo or Yokohama gives us the best opportunity to do exactly that,” he concluded.
Yokohama, one of the locations Las Vegas Sands, has plans to build the integrated resort at Yamashita Wharf which is located next to the very popular Yamashita Park, tourist hub.
Gaming and entertainment operators from all around the globe have been planning to enter the countries forthcoming gambling market and all of them hope to win over the public and the country’s officials. Sands’ decision to pull back from Osaka has left the field open for other competitors while making the competition a little tighter. Still, it is important to note that it will be years before the first integrated casinos open for business since the selection of both the cities and the operators is still work in progress.