Ho more interested in Osaka, over Tokyo

Lawrence Ho, chairman and CEO of Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd says he is more interested in building a casino in Osaka over Tokyo as the integrated resort model makes more sense there, Bloomberg reports.

“When you go to the Kansai region, it’s more fun, really, and we’re a company that focuses on fun and entertainment,” said the casino mogul in an interview in Macau.

Ho added that Tokyo’s high density and popularity for large-scale events makes it less than optimal for hosting a Las Vegas or Macau-esque integrated resort.

“I’m not so sure Tokyo needs an integrated resort,” Ho said. “Tokyo by itself is amazing. It’s like when people ask me: ‘Do you think New York and London need an integrated resort?’ No, they don’t.”

Last week, Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Margaret Huang and Carmen Lee wrote that “Tokyo’s inflated commercial land prices are higher than the rest of Japan, [which may] …dissuade casino operators from developing an integrated resort there, even with the city’s population and infrastructure.”

Other casino operators looking into the area include Las Vegas Sands Corp, MGM resorts International and Galaxy Entertainment Group.

“Right now, there is a lot of speed dating,” Ho said. “Sometimes, I go into a Japanese corporate office, and then I walk out and I see our competitors in the lobby.”