LVS Drops Bid For Japan Integrated Casino Resort License
After a well-publicized hunt for a license to build an integrated resort in Japan, the biggest casino operator in the world Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS) has now announced they will be dropping out of the race.
Despite once claiming they were prepared to spend up to $10-12 billion, LVS will now be refocusing its efforts in Asia toward renovating their existing properties in Singapore and Macau, to the tune of $5.5 billion.
LVS initially focused license their bid on Osaka, Japan, but later shifted to either Yokohama or Tokyo in August. 2019 By October, LVS President Rob Goldstein expressed his doubts on the investment publicly, which stoked rumors the company would be pulling out soon.
Focus on Singapore and Macau Resorts
LVS’ Singapore and Macau properties contribute roughly 85% of the company’s total quarterly revenues.
LVS plans to spend north of $2 billion on the expansion and renovation of its Sands Cotai Central property in Macau, rebranding it into The Londoner Macau, a resort themed after the city of London. LVS is also set to sink a combined $850 million on their St. Regis Tower Suites—containing 370 suites and Four Seasons Tower Suits containing 290 suites. This is expected to be done by the end of this quarter.
LVS also stated that their Marina Bay Sands property in Singapore will be the recipient of renovations worth $3.3 billion, which includes an arena with 15,000 seats, a hotel with 1,000 rooms, and more space available for conventions.
Sheldon Adelson’s Reversal on Japan Bid
LVS Chairman and billionaire Sheldon Adelson released a statement stating that despite his longstanding personal fondness and admiration for Japan and its culture, he believed that it was time for LVS to accept that their attention is better spent elsewhere.
Adelson’s current statement is a 180-degree turn from his statements in 2018, when he claimed that LVS is the prime contender for a Japanese integrated resort license. Reports also emerged in 2018 that U.S President Donald Trump personally spoke to Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and backed LVS. Adelson is one of the biggest donors to the Republic party.
Japan passed legislation that carved out three slots for integrated resort licenses. Despite massive interest from major players in the casino industry, formal requests for the licenses have failed to find much traction. In 2019, Caesars Entertainment also pulled out of the bidding process as a result of their merger worth $17.3 billion with Eldorado Resorts.