Thursday, September 27, 2007

Japan Casino Update

Time to clean out some of the links that have been piling up about casino gambling in Japan.

Casino Shares Spike on False Japan Rumor

Shares of Las Vegas Sands and Wynn shoot up on a rumor that Japan is about to legalize casino gambling. No one seems to know where the rumor comes from. In the end, it sounds like someone on an LVS conference call mentioned the then-upcoming Japanese election as possible progress on the casino gaming front in Japan. Except he got the date of the election wrong - July 24 instead of July 29. So on the 24th, it looks like someone spread a rumor about legalizing gambling to push up stock prices. Nice.

Wynn, Okada Pact May Thrive When Japan Allows Casinos

Steve Wynn turned to (Aruze Corp. Chairman) Kazuo Okada when the gambling magnate needed cash to fund his namesake Las Vegas casino in 2000. Now, Okada could be the ace up Wynn's sleeve in the Japanese businessman's home market.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party lost control of the country's upper house in an election on July 29. That could slow down the passage of legislation because of political uncertainly, the 64-year-old Okada said. The LDP and its coalition partner still control the more-powerful lower house with a two-thirds majority and can override the upper house in cases of disagreement.

Not only did they get the date of the election wrong, they also messed up on which way it would go. The Democratic Party of Japan grabbed a lot of seats and wrecked the LDP majority of the upper house. The casino gambling proposition isn't strictly an LDP project as far as I know, but the unexpected DPJ win does throw a lot of uncertainty into things. They were hoping to pass this legislation by July 2008 - now the last I heard they're hoping maybe by the end of 2008.

Goddamn, all I want is casinos in Japan. Do I really have to start paying attention to Japanese politics just to get it?

Wynn, Aruze to Push Japan Casino Potential at Seminar

Wynn Resorts Ltd. and Aruze Corp. will promote the potential of casinos in Japan at a Sept. 11 seminar, as the companies seek to open the gambling market of the world's second-biggest economy.

Ronald Kramer, president of the Las Vegas-based casino company founded by billionaire Steve Wynn, will speak at the Tokyo seminar with Aruze Chief Executive Officer Kunihiko Yogo, according to a statement faxed from Tokyo-based Aruze to Bloomberg News.

I assume this seminar happened but so far I haven't seen any news about it. Maybe there wasn't anything newsworthy about it? I'll try to find out.

The last I heard was that if the legislation passes we may see casinos here open in 2012. But if the legislation isn't pushed through soon, I could see that being pushed back a year or two. Crap, I could be retired by the time they open up Wynn Japan.

I gotta get to Seoul one of these days. Walker Hill ain't exactly the Venetian, but it's a lot closer than Vegas.


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