US business news sources have reported that billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson will potentially invest up to $10 billion should Las Vegas Sands Corporation be granted an ‘integrated resorts’ license by the Japanese government.
“It would be at least what we paid in Singapore, $6 billion including the land, but it could be as much as $10 billion,” Sheldon Adelson said on Tuesday at an investor conference in Tokyo, referring to the Marina Bay Sands property in Singapore.
At present, the Shinzo Abe government is drafting final provisions for its ‘integrated resorts’ bill, allowing for legalised Japanese casino gaming in selected large-scale complexes combining hotels, casino and shopping.
Reuters international reports that the Japanese government will likely select gambling operators and resort locations by 2019, with the first casino likely to open by 2023. Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts and MGM International are all reported to be eyeing lucrative resort bids.
Adelson who’s net worth is estimated at $30 billion is reported to have told his close associates that Japan is global gaming’s ‘Holy Grail’, and that his company should begin in its bid preparation.
Though estimates of the potential size of the Japanese casino market are hard to define, a number of industry analysts believe that a legalised Japanese market could quickly become the world’s second-biggest casino market.