Las Vegas Sands withdraws from Japan’s IR project

By Violeta Prockyte

Las Vegas Sands announced it is cancelling its plans for Japan’s integrated resort. Previously, Sands was considered a favourite for the development in Japan. However, the company stated that the “framework around the development of an IR” is hindering those plans.

The withdrawals came as a surprise since Sands cited Japan’s big cities, Tokyo and Yokohama, as great places for an integrated resort. But market specialists expressed a belief that it’s unlikely the company will return to Japan anytime soon.

Analysts stated that Sands have always been drawn to Tokyo but now the company is focussing on other opportunities as Japan’s IR licensing proved to be too complicated to navigate.

The increasing cost of developing an integrated resort is another point of contention. Last year, the company’s president Rob Goldstein stated, “We’re going to be in a top tier city, which would mandate US$10 billion – and that may be light. The cost of building in Japan is a big issue and the way the deals are structured, it’s a challenge.”

Japan is still dealing with the pandemic and recovery might be slow. Specialists predict that even should the country’s economy recover enough, the licenses for IR will likely be pushed further back, with Olympics taking the priority. And it’s unlikely the Sands will return for an IR project unless there’s a clear way to win the Tokyo market.

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