Adelson to court Japan PM, remains bullish on Macau

    Las Vegas Sands Corp. founder Sheldon Adelson held a wide-ranging question and answer session with investors at a conference in New York, saying he planned to call on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to push a casino legalization bill through parliament and that he sees nothing to dent the bullish outlook for Macau.
    There are only three things in life that are certain, death, taxes and a Macau casino license, he joked.
    Asians have been challenging luck since the time of Confucius, he said. “It’s very unlikely that anything will happen to change that in the short term, the near term or the long term.”
    He said that the Hong Kong-Zhuhai bridge may be a game changer, turning the Hong Kong International airport into Macau’s second airport and making the gambling mecca accessible from one of Asia’s biggest transport hubs in about 20 minutes. “Those of us that are optimistic think it will change Macau significantly,” he said.
    Adelson said his Venetian Sands resort currently attracts about 125,000 – 135,000 visitors daily on a weekend and he expects the new Parisian-themed sister resort currently under construction to be an equal success.
    “We expect the Parisian to be the third property generating between $1 billion and $2 billion in Ebitda per year,” he said.
    On Japan, Adelson said they had an opportunity for a last-ditch plea to push for approval of the casino bill in this session, as Abe will tour the Marina Bay Sands resort in Singapore on May 30. He will get a “scripted plea” to push the bill that day, Adelson said.
    Japan’s lower house lawmakers confirmed on Wednesday that’s it’s now virtually impossible for a casino bill to be passed during the current Diet session ending June 22, casting doubt on when legislation may finally be approved.
    However, Adelson said he hoped Abe would be impressed enough with the facilities at Marina Bay Sands to tell an aide to get on the phone to tell parliament to push the bill through. 
    Adelson also spoke about South Korea, saying he’s hoping there is the political will to get approval for an LVS property on the 1988 Olympic site.
    Winning a license in either South Korea or Japan is likely to reap rich rewards for shareholders, with whoever wins in one of the two major cities likely to see their market capitalization rise between $30 billion to $40 billion, or may be more. Adelson said his figures had come from analysts, journalists and industry observers.