(Corrects to show Melco Crown Entertainment is based in Hong
Kong, not Australia, in the fifth paragraph)
* Japan "integrated resort" would cost $6-10 bln -CEO
* Japan is expected to become world's No.2 casino market
By Thomas Wilson
TOKYO, Feb 21 A resort hosting casinos in Japan
could cost up to $10 billion to build, Las Vegas Sands Corp's
chief said, as the casino operator looks to win
operating rights in what is widely expected to become the
world's second-biggest casino market.
"It would be at least what we paid in Singapore, $6 billion
including the land, but it could be as much as $10 billion,"
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sheldon Adelson said on
Tuesday at an investor conference in Tokyo, referring to the
Marina Bay Sands property in Singapore.
Japan legalised casinos late last year and is now drafting
rules, due by December, on how to regulate the industry and pick
operators and locations of so-called "integrated resorts" -
large-scale complexes combining casinos, hotels and shopping.
Though estimates of the potential size of the Japanese
market vary, brokerage CLSA said just two resorts in major
cities could generate a total of $10 billion in annual revenue,
growing to $25 billion with more locations.
Major U.S. operators including MGM Resorts International
and Wynn Resorts Ltd are also among the runners
for the first licence, while Galaxy Entertainment Corp Ltd
and Hong Kong's Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd
have also expressed interest.
Political sources previously told Reuters that Japan is
likely to pick casino operators and locations by 2019, with the
first casinos opening by 2023.
(Reporting by Thomas Wilson; Editing by Christopher Cushing)