Adelson chases Asia

BILLIONAIRE 78 year old Sheldon Adelson is eyeing up the Asian turf to expand his casino empire. Following in the footsteps of his Las Vegas and recently opened Sands Cotai Centra, its been speculated that his empire won’t stop there.

Speaking at the opening of his Sands Cotai Central on April 11, Adelson outlined plans to spend billions more developing casinos in Vietnam, Korea and Japan, in addition to the US$35bil he plans to spend on a Spanish casino-resort complex.

However, Reuters reported that rival Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts are also eyeing up the Asian market for gaming growth. Reuters said that it’s not all an American tug of war. Asian players like Malaysia’s Genting, Hong Kong-listed Galaxy Entertainment and Melco Crown, are aggressively raising the ante as they expand on their home turf.

The race to conquer the Asian casino world is already heating up in the Philippines where Asian brokerage CLSA forecasts gambling revenue to grow from US$1.3bil in 2011 to US$3bil in 2015 once three new resorts are completed.

Galaxy and Melco, which both sit on prime real estate on Macau’s coveted casino strip, were also interested in investing in the Philippines, Cristino Naguiat, chairman of the state-owned Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corp, said in February.

“Countries like Singapore have provided a very good template for emerging jurisdictions looking to liberalise gaming entertainment,” said Steven Tight, president of international development for US giant Caesars Entertainment, which owns Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.


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