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MGM Envisions Spending Up to $10 Billion on Japanese Casino

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February 26, 2014

MGM Envisions Spending Up to $10 Billion on Japanese Casino

Hospitality News: Deecember 2004 - Replica of lion at the Entrance of the MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas, NV
Deecember 2004 - Replica of lion at the Entrance of the MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas, NV

MGM Resorts International, the largest casino operator on the Las Vegas Strip, said it?s ready to spend $5 billion to $10 billion in Japan, a day after competitor?Las Vegas Sands Corp.? said it planned to make a similar investment should gambling resorts be legalized.

MGM Resorts wants to own at least 51 percent in a partnership with Japanese companies for projects in the country, James Murren, chief executive officer, said in Tokyo. Legalization would make Japan Asia?s largest casino market after Macau, according to Union Gaming Group estimates.

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson said yesterday his Las Vegas Sands would consider investing $10 billion on a casino project in Japan. Tokyo?s selection to host the 2020 Olympic Games has boosted expectations that gambling resorts, under discussion for a decade, will be made legal as it could boost tourism, help build out infrastructure and revive local economies.

?We will overinvest early on to ensure, as we have done everywhere else, that we have properties that are built to last and that would stand additional competition,? Murren said, speaking today at a CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets forum. The final investment amount would depend on conditions such as the tax rate, he said.

CLSA estimates Japan?s casino market could eventually generate $40 billion in annual revenue, trailing only the southern Chinese city of Macau in Asia. The former Portuguese enclave had $45.2 billion casino gaming revenue in 2013, seven times that of the Las Vegas Strip.

Bill Passage

Hiroyuki Hosoda, the chairman of a cross-party group of pro-casino lawmakers, said today he expects the casino bill will win parliamentary approval by June and wants lower house deliberations on the legislation to start around late April.

Wynn Resorts Ltd. is open to a potential joint venture in Japan, President Matt Maddox said at the CLSA Forum in Tokyo today, without commenting on possible investment.

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Source Bloomberg Businessweek, http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-02-25/mgm-resorts-considers-spending-up-to-10-billion-in-japan-casino

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