Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS) has dumped plans to develop an integrated resort in Osaka, declaring it will now focus its Japan IR efforts on Tokyo and Yokohama instead.
The shock announcement came on the same day that Yokohama mayor Fumiko Hayashi formally announced the city’s intention to bid for one of three IR licenses to be issued by the national government next year.
In a news release issued late Thursday, LVS Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson said, “For the past several years, we have engaged in a conversation with the Osaka government regarding the possibility of building a world-class Integrated Resort there.
“We thank the people and government there for their professionalism and wish them much success with Expo 2025 and the other initiatives they have planned.
“Consistent with our long-held strategy and our track record of success in achieving it, our company will drive organic growth by strongly reinvesting in our existing portfolio of properties in Macau, Singapore and Las Vegas, reward our shareholders through our dividend and share repurchase programs and target new development opportunities that allow us to maintain our industry-leading returns on invested capital.
“We think an investment in Tokyo or Yokohama gives us the best opportunity to do exactly that.”
It was only a few months ago that LVS declared its intention to focus its Japan IR efforts on Osaka, however its withdrawal from the Osaka race leaves MGM Resorts as a clear favorite to succeed with its own “Osaka First” policy.