Posts Tagged ‘Japan integrated resorts’

Ex-Sands exec Weidner attacked in Japan role

September 2, 2021

Wakayama Palace stands tall in the prefecture bidding for a Japan casino license. (Photo courtesy Wakayama Prefecture Govt)

Former Las Vegas Sands president and COO William Weidner may be the most accomplished gaming executive still in the business. Weidner’s 14 years with LVS included building its Vegas Strip Venetian complex, gaining entry to Macau, developing Cotai as world’s most lucrative casino cluster, winning a license in Singapore and conceiving what’s become the world’s most admired integrated resort there. So Weidner provided instant credibility when he joined Canadian private equity investor Clairvest’s effort to win an integrated resort license in Wakayama Prefecture near Osaka.

Perhaps, then, it shouldn’t be surprising that Weidner came under attack via anonymous documents recounting legal settlements of US government charges against Las Vegas Sands during his tenure. The documents may aim to weaken Wakayama’s IR bid, but it’s equally likely they stem from a long running dispute involving Weidner’s Global Gaming Asset Management firm and Philippine billionaire Enrique Razon’s Bloomberry Resorts, or a Taiwan’s American Asian Entertainment’s US$12 billion lawsuit against LVS over termination of their Macau partnership, in which Weidner was a leading actor but is not a party to the litigation.

In any case, the attack is another ugly aspect of Japan’s casino legalization saga that has limited public support and gotten the cold shoulder from leading international casino companies and Japan’s largest cities and tourist destinations.

Former US diplomat and broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a columnist for ICE 365, a contributor to Forbes and Inside Asian Gaming, columnist/correspondent for Asia Times, and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

Time for time out in Japan casino saga

May 5, 2021

The outlook for casinos has darkened on Osaka’s Yumeshima island and across Japan due to delays, fastidious regulations and Covid-19.

Efforts to legalize so-called integrated resorts in Japan began in the previous century and passed its final legislative hurdle in July 2018 to the delight of the global gaming industry. Since then, bureaucrats and the pandemic have conspired to delay the process, dissipating enthusiasm. To recapture momentum for casinos, Japan must call time out to fix its regulations. The outcome of casino legalization will impact Japan for decades, so taking a few months to get it right makes overwhelming sense.

Former US diplomat and broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a contributor to Forbes and Inside Asian Gaming, columnist/correspondent for Asia Times, and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

MGM moves ahead in Japan casino race with Orix

March 26, 2019

Showing the shape of things to come, MGM Resorts International is working with Japan finance giant Orix to pursue a casino resort in Osaka. It’s inevitable that national corporate giants will want a piece of these so-called integrated resorts, one of Japan’s biggest economic opportunities. MGM was smart to get a solid partner and, according to reports, have an equal share of the deal with Orix. Stay tuned for more on Osaka and MGM.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes, editor at large for Inside Asian Gaming and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

Don’t slam Japan casino decisions unmade

September 16, 2017

As Japan considers casino legalization, Sheldon Adelson warns regulators could prevent “the best kind” of casino resort. Foreigners criticizing details of legislation not yet crafted could mean no casinos at all in Japan or no role in them for difficult gaijin.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes, editor at large for Inside Asian Gaming and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

Japan casinos face defining questions

April 19, 2017

While the global casino industry giddily dreams of integrated resort locations, why Japan wants casinos and what will make them Japanese loom as defining issues.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes, editor at large for Inside Asian Gaming and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.


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