Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd., a Hong Kong-based company that operates a major casino business in the Macau gambling hub, may consider investing more than $5 billion in Japan and other locations, if ever the Japanese government proceeds with legalizing casino gambling. The company is a force to reckon with in the hotels and casinos business, as it propelled owner Lui Che-woo in becoming Asia’s third-richest man. The company said that it would be willing to invest heavily in Japan’s casino market, as revealed by Deputy Chairman Francis Lui, eldest son of the billionaire owner, in an interview in Macau yesterday.
“If we’re given the chance to build a casino in Japan [and in other prime locations], we would at least be spending HK$20 billion or HK$30 billion (over US$3 billion per location),” Lui said. “We have the financial capacity to do that.” Galaxy is now joining the lucrative casino war with competitors Wynn Resorts Ltd., MGM Resorts International and Las Vegas Sands Corp., in seeking opportunities outside Macau. Specifically, Tokyo’s selection to host the 2020 Olympics boosts confidence the government will legalize casinos in what could be the world’s second-largest gambling market after the Chinese city.
A lot of eyes are already on the Tokyo Bay area, as confidence is high that the law legalizing casinos will finally be approved by the government. Recently, Mitsui Fudosan Co. – Japan’s largest property developer – has joined forces with Fuji Media Holdings and builder Kajima Corp in proposing a resort and casino complex to the Japanese government. If the law is passed and casinos are allowed in Japan – home to the world’s third-largest economy – industry estimates on the gambling revenue show that Japan could potentially beat Las Vegas and Singapore.
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