MGM Resorts angling to cash in on Japanese gaming


Gambling is currently illegal in Japan—for now. A bill on the table could end that and, if so, a flood of casino operators will want to cash in.

One of which is MGM Resorts, which reportedly is ready to invest most $10 billion into a Japanese casino via a publicly traded real estate investment trust.

MGM Resorts CEO James Murren said that his company would spend between $4.8 billion-$9.5 billion on an “integrated resort”—a large-scale project combining casinos with hotels, shopping and conference space—in Tokyo, Yokohama or Osaka. Murrn suggested that “multiple” blue-chip companies would look for an equity stake in an MGM-led project. 

Virtual Roundtable

Post COVID-19: The New Guest Experience

Join Hotel Management’s Elaine Simon for our latest roundtable—Post COVID-19: The New Guest Experience. The experts on the panel will share how to inspire guest confidence that hotels are safe and clean and how to win back guest business.

"We think there would be a tremendous amount of demand, and ultimately a public listing of these types of Japanese resorts would be very appealing," Murren told Reuters in an interview. 

If a law that would help legalize casinos passes the Japanese parliament, any investment by casino operators in regional resort areas would likely total 100 billion to 300 billion yen, Murren said. Potential locations for regional casinos include sites in the islands of Hokkaido in the north and Kyushu in the south. According to Reuters, an MGM spokesman said the company was only interested in investing in casinos in large metropolitan areas, and Murren suggested that one of the three main cities could have a resort as early as 2022.

Murren’s vision would have an MGM-controlled operating company responsible for expenses and investment paying rent to a property company owned by private investors and domestic and foreign companies. “There are many investors who are risk averse and looking for yield and others who are more risk tolerant," he said.


Suggested Articles

The panic button provides real-time location information to keep hotel employees safe.

The LW Hospitality Advisors "Q2 2020 Select Major U.S. Hotel Sales Survey" highlights six transactions across the country.

Best Western Hotels & Resorts has opened the GLō Tulsa East Route 66, the brand’s debut in Oklahoma.