ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailMenu BurgerPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon SearchSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Business trends

Hong Kong's Melco aims to build $10bn casino resort in Japan

Ruling parties set to submit 'integrated resort' legislation to parliament

Melco opened the Studio City resort in Macau in 2015. The Hong Kong-based company plans to spend big in Japan once "integrated resorts" are allowed in the country.

OSAKA -- Melco Resorts & Entertainment will consider investing more than $10 billion if it is allowed to open a casino complex in a large Japanese city under legislation now being considered, Chairman and CEO Lawrence Ho said.

"We are very happy about the movement. A lot of has made,"Ho said in an interview. 

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner Komeito have recently agreed on key points in legislation permitting casino gambling in Japan. The bill will be submitted to the Diet as early as this month and, if made into law, would pave the way for the creation of "integrated resorts" including casinos, hotels and other facilities.

Hong Kong-based Melco operates integrated resorts in Macau and the Philippines. Melco spent $10 billion for its Macau operation.

"If we are lucky enough to be selected for one of the major cities, we will be spending more than $10 billion," Ho said.

Reflecting strong public concerns about such issues as the potential for people to become addicted to gambling, the bill imposes various kinds of restrictions. But it is understandable for Japan to adopt the most stringent regulations in the world, Ho said. Melco will be able to meet government regulations on gambling addiction by employing its "MelGuard" security system, which incorporates such biometric technologies as fingerprint scans, according to Ho.

"We are a very young and open company. We always introduce the latest technology," he said.

Ho added that the prospects are good for Melco's operations in Japan. The affluent pay deep respect to the history and cultures of the places they visit, and Japan needs such customers, Ho said. Melco intends to use its customer database to lure wealthy clients in China and other parts of Asia to Japan.

Casino entrance fees would be set at 6,000 yen ($56) for people living in Japan but entry would be free for visitors from abroad, according to the agreement between the ruling parties.

Furthermore, casinos would not be allowed to occupy more than 3% of the total floor space of integrated resorts. But this restriction is not an issue for Melco, Ho said, explaining that the figure is about 5% in Macau.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Get Unlimited access

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends January 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media