Macau gambling operator, Galaxy Entertainment Group is looking to enter the heated battle over one of Japan’s casino licenses with the help of Monaco’s Societe des Bains de Mer, SCMP reports.
“We see loads of potential in the Japanese market and aim to win a casino license there in cooperation with Societe des Bains de Mer,” said Galaxy’s vice chairman Francis Lui, quoted on the sidelines of the company’s annual general meeting on Thursday.
Earlier this year, Mr. Lui said his company had studied plans for a casino in the Japanese cities of Osaka and Tokyo and is confident of obtaining a license.
“The Lui family’s long-term development history in the country gives us advantages. We’re very confident,” said Lui in a March interview with the Hong Kong Economic Times.
Galaxy will be joining a long list of global casino majors vying for a foothold in Japan, which is expected to become the second-biggest Asian market after Macau once casinos open. Las Vegas Sands and MGM Resorts have said they are willing to invest as much as $10 billion, while Malaysia’s Genting, Melco Crown Entertainment and Wynn Resorts are among other big names betting on a license.
Melco Resorts’ Lawrence Ho previously stated the company will “do whatever it takes” to secure a license in the country, while Las Vegas chairman Sheldon Adelson previously noted Japan could bring “the ultimate in business opportunities”.
While the first bill authorizing the legislation process for casinos and IRs in the country was passed last year, it is anticipated that the second bill, which writes the legislation governing IRs will be passed at the end of 2017.
The next step will be “an internal process to identify the cities and prefectures that have an interest in hosting IRs” which is estimated to complete by 18Q3.
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