Lawrence Ho wants to build a casino in Osaka
The Japanese love playing games, and their favourite game is Pachinko. So far, the Japenese did not have access to a real casino, as for the longest time, they were prohibited by law. However, this law might now be changed, and casinos are being legalised. This means that major casino operators from around the world are now very interested in this new market. Lawrence Ho (the owner of Melco Resorts & Entertainment Ltd) shows a particular interest in Osaka. But why is he interested in this city and not the capital Tokyo for example?
An uncertain option
Every businessman appreciates to have a head start. This was also noticeable when Sheldon Adelson expressed his interest in building a casino in Rio, even though casinos are still banned in Brazil. This time it is Lawrence Ho (a Macao casino magnate), who is showing an interest in Osaka, even though the Japanese government has not yet officially decided where they will allow casinos to be built. There are a lot of rumors circulating around Tokyo, Yokohama and Osaka, but also some other places in Japan.
It is easy to see why the Japanese are very interested in a land-based casino. The people are very fond of gambling, and the country also has a close proximity to China. But what are the reasons for Lawrence Ho to focus on Osaka? He mentioned several reasons, one of them is that Osaka is an entertainment city with many attractions, such as the Universal Studios Japan for example. This city is also located in Kansai, which is a very touristy area that is home to the ancient imperial capital Nara, but also Kyoto and the many protected world heritage temples. Tokyo is also an attractive location, and it would not need a casino to attract more tourists, so building a casino there would also be a good option.
In any case, the plans from Lawrence Ho are not set in stone. Even if Osaka is one of the cities chosen by the government to feature a casino, he would then have to convince the government to choose him over other competitors. The MGM Resorts group and Las Vegas Sands have also expressed their interest in the city. To be continued...