US Gaming operator Las Vegas Sands has decided to pull out of the race for Integrated Resort development in Japan. The company’s concerns about the regulatory framework devised by the Japanese government seem to be the reason for the exit.
“While my positive feelings for Japan are undiminished, and I believe the country would benefit from the business and leisure tourism generated by an Integrated Resort, the framework around the development of an IR has made our goals there unreachable,” Sands Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sheldon G. Adelson. said in the announcement.
‘We are grateful for all of the friendships we have formed and the strong relationships we have in Japan, but it is time for our company to focus our energy on other opportunities’
Sands was one of the frontrunners to win the IR project. The company was tipped to develop an integrated resort in Tokyo or Yokohama, after opting out of the race in Osaka.
The Japanese government is moving ahead with the tender process despite the Covid-19-induced hindrance.
Some of the requirements by the government are viewed as strict. According to the government specifications, resorts would only be permitted to have gambling facilities covering 3% of the total floor space, at least 100,000 square metres to guest rooms, and must include cultural facilities that make them more attractive to tourists, such as theatres, music halls, cinemas, museums and restaurants.
The Japanese government has also indicated that it would consider IR operator’s business soundness and financial stability, as well as how far it has forged close-knit ties with the local communities with operators having to commit to making use of its casino business profits to give back to the local community, while also ensuring that gambling risks can be contained.