The Steve Wynn-Kazuo Okada billionaire dispute could have a dramatic impact on what major casino operators wind up with licenses in the various different countries in Asia. Let's look at the major operators in the region and how the dispute could help or hurt them. (Here is the first article about the controversy.)
Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) - Billionaire Sheldon Adelson's company is considered the market leader in both the United States and in Macau. Anything that hurts Steve Wynn and Wynn Resorts helps Las Vegas Sands, especially in Macau and Asia. Adelson is looking to have access to gaming in Japan, and in any other countries that might be considering awarding licenses he is going to be a serious candidate to be one of the licensees.
Melco (MPEL) - Melco is another large operator in Macau and the thesis applies to this company as well.
MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM) - MGM is trying to gain more exposure in Asia, and specifically China. Anything MGM can use to gain access to more licenses in the region is helpful, and Steve Wynn may have handed MGM a big present with the legal issues he now faces. MGM is currently highly exposed to the Las Vegas market, with ownership of over half the hotel rooms on the Las Vegas Strip.
Caesar's Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR) - In exactly the same situation as MGM Resorts as it is looking for more access to markets globally, especially in Asia.
Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) - The dispute with Ozaka could take away opportunities in other countries in Asia, like South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and possibly Macau. For a more detailed explanation, look at this story on Bloomberg.
Universal Entertainment (OTC:UETMF) - If Universal were to lose its license in the Philippines, the Wynn dispute could take away a billion dollar opportunity. If other countries deny Universal licensing opportunities, the company is looking at a 10 billion dollar argument.
One reason why lawyers always want to settle cases is the high cost of litigation, both direct and indirect. Winners and losers will emerge from the Wynn-Okada battle, and I hope this article helped investors better handicap the outcome.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.