Melco Crown Calls Sheldon Adelson’s $10 Billion Bet on Japan, Hard Rock Scrambling for Partners

Melco Crown Entertainment won’t be intimidated by Las Vegas Sands billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s comments this week that he’s ready to spend up to $10 billion on building a casino in Japan.

Melco Crown CEO Lawrence Ho says there’s no cap on how much his company is willing to spend on an integrated casino resort in Japan.

Hong Kong businessman Lawrence Ho, the billionaire son of Stanley Ho who held a gambling monopoly in Macau for 40 years, told reporters soon after hearing of Adelson’s pledge that his company is prepared to invest even more. During the same investor conference in Tokyo, Ho explained, ‘We’ll absolutely spend whatever we need to win.’

Japan legalized commercial casinos last fall, but hasn’t determined the specific regulations for the newly liberalized industry. The country’s parliament is working to decide how many gambling licenses will be issued, but the general consensus is that just two properties will be authorized.

In a press release unveiling Melco Crown’s integrated resort concepts for Japan, Ho added, ‘There currently is no predetermined cap on our intended investment. I prefer not to constrain our dreams… with price tags, particularly at this early stage.’

Melco Crown Entertainment was founded in 2004 through a partnership between Melco International Development and James Packer’s Australian Crown Resorts.

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