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Ho Casino Dynasty Looking To Expand Into Japan

The Ho family has built a casino gambling empire with their innovative thinking and ability to take big chances. Stanley Ho was the pioneer of much of that empire building, and now his son is taking aim at expanding the empire.

Lawrence Ho has announced that if Melco Crown Entertainment gains the right to open a casino in Japan, that the company is prepared to invest $5 billion into the project. Japan has become a hot target for much of the gaming industry over the past couple of years.

Macau has become the top gaming market in the world, and along with Macau's success has come an idea that other countries in Asia could also thrive. Japan is at the top of the economic ladder in the world, making it a desirable destination for gaming companies looking to plant their flag.

Ho's desire to break away from the Macau empire the family created comes from an increased directive from the government to control the gaming industry in Macau. Ho believes the future of the industry may be shifting away from Macau and into areas such as Japan and Singapore.

"There is no doubt that Japan is the biggest prize available to developers in Asia," said analyst William Naymar. "The amount of gamblers that exist in Japan, coupled with a thriving economy, make Japan a natural choice for any gaming group. The first few casinos opened there will change the future of the industry."

Ho's interests do not stop with Japan. In recent years, Ho has invested in casino projects in the Philippines and Russia. It has all been an effort to expand beyond the clutches of the Chinese government and Macau.

"Macau is a small place," said Ho. "As much as I want to build a theme park, we just don't have the land to do it.

Ho went on to say, "We still have the most eggs in the Macau basket."

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