Melco Crown eyes Japan

James Packer's Macau business partner makes bold pitch to Japanese govt.

Lawrence Ho, the business partner of James Packer in Macau, has made a bold pitch to the Japanese government promising $US5 billion in investment if the nation legalises casinos and opens up its market to overseas operators, The Australian Financial Review reports.

According to the newspaper, Mr Ho said his preference would be for casinos in Tokyo or the the southern city of Osaka.

The potential is huge for integrated resorts in Japan,” Mr Ho said according to the AFR.

“If Japan opens up and allows them in Tokyo or Osaka, the market could easily be in excess of $US10 billion to $US15 billion or more.

Mr Ho and Mr Packer's Crown (CWN) each hold an estimated 33% stake in Melco Crown (see Cliona O'Dowd's Collected Wisdom).