Trump Lobbied for Casino License on a Meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister
According to the claims made in a report by a local media house, Donald Trump had asked Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to offer a casino license to Sands Casino in Las Vegas on behalf of its founder and Chief Operating Officer Sheldon Adelson. As per the report published by the investigative news website ProPublica, this meeting had taken place in February last year when Trump had a meeting with Abe at Mar-a-Lago.
Speculations are that Trump’s meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister had taken place a few days after Abe had a meeting with Sands’ Adelson and a handful of other casino executives in Japan. Back in July, the parliament of Japan had introduced new legislation that allowed the development of three integrated casino resorts across the country.
Once the new law was passed, Adelson had told the investors in Las Vegas Sands that the company currently stood in a ‘leading position’ to get at least one of the three prospective casino licenses in Japan. He further reiterated that this could be possible because of the long-standing business background of the company in the country for more than a century now.
However, according to the report published by ProPublica, the efforts made by Las Vegas Sands of acquiring a casino license in Japan have also been provided the backing of the president of the United States. The report also revealed that Trump named another Las Vegas-based casino as well to Abe during their meeting in 2017.
According to the report, Abe and a few of his important officials had been a little taken aback by Trump’s brazen suggestion. In response to the ProPublica report, Abe remarked that although the topic of casino development in Japan did arise during the meeting at Mar-a-Lago, Trump had not made any special requests on behalf of any casino operator.
Adelson has always been Trump’s, as well as the Republic Party’s, most prominent donors. As such, Adelson and his wife had spent around $82.5 million on the GOP candidates during the 2016 cycle. In addition to this, Trump has also moved the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in Israel just a couple of days after Adelson had donated around $30 million to the House of Republicans. Referring to his pro-Israel ideology, Adelson had earlier named himself as a ‘one issue person.’