James Packer the chairman of Crown might be opening a $5 billion casino in Japan soon, in what is a big move for the Australian casino operator. Reports suggest that his Melco Crown Asian gaming joint venture is currently in talks with several Japanese corporations and that the site is targeting an open in time for the 2020 Olympics.
Todd Nisbet, the executive in charge of the bid stated that there were also talks underway with the South Korean and Vietnamese governments about future developments in those countries, and that negotiations over Packer’s Sri Lanka Casino could be finalised before the end of 2014 which would give start to the expansion in the south-east Asian markets outside of China.
“We see Japan as the biggest single opportunity which can be identified in terms of an international expansion and growth project, mainly because of the sophistication of the market there and the appeal the overall area has for a business such as ours,’’ Nisbet said.
The potential legislative changes in Japan can make the country an an incredibly lucrative market for gaming operators as the population size, it’s income and gambling habits are all aligned to give a perfect opportunity for the industry.
“Everybody has stepped up the pace, both political bodies and prospective international companies that have an interest in entering the Japanese market as soon as possible,’’ wrote Nisbet in his report on the country.
“We had a moment in time where the confirmation of Olympic games has crystallised the thinking around how it’s best to capitalise on the Japanese market being placed on a world stage and really moving towards the next stage of economic growth that the Abe government is looking for in order to reinvigorate the Japanese economy.”