Asian Companies On The Heels of Vegas Giants

78 year old billionaire Sheldon Adelson, chairman of Las Vegas Sands, confidently opened the company’s new $4.4 billion casino in Macau last week. At the inauguration, he outlines his plans to spread his casino empire across the Asian landscape. Surprisingly, American as well new Asian rivals want to capitalize on the biggest potential gambling market in Asia, too.

CLSA, Galaxy and Melco, all are interested in investing in the Philippines. Genting is already developing its casinos there. Others include Belle Corp BEL.PM, Bloomberry Resorts and Universal Entertainment. Okada, one of Japan's richest men, is building a casino resort in the Philippines.

Steven Tight, president of international development for U.S. giant Caesars Entertainment, which owns Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, thinks countries like Singapore have provided a very good model to relax gaming entertainment. Caesars does not operate a casino in Macau, but is building a luxury resort in China's Hainan, where gambling is banned.

The Asian extension by U.S. operators has not been without controversy. Certain potential jurisdictions are becoming cautious of the headlines big Las Vegas names bring with them. Sands and Wynn are both involved in legal battles in the United States and Macau. Matthew Ossolinski, chairman of Ossolinski Holdings believes the entry of these operators had cased humiliation for their Chinese partners and the latter are now beginning to weigh its worth.

Meanwhile, U.S. operators who are steadfast on a future in Asia intend forming an established classy operator without the baggage of American casino laws. They are also on guard against Asian companies trying to take their territory in the United States, Genting has being one of the most prominent, having bought the Miami Herald Building.

Asian firms, in an attempt to create a global footprint, by hiring Las Vegas-based lawyers, architects and information technology companies, are on the road to capture casino properties in Las Vegas.


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