Throughout the history of time, there have been innovators whose ideas have been laughed at by the naysayers.
Often, those pessimists have been proven correct in their judgment, but occasionally it’s those who think outside the box that have the last laugh.
Jason Ader, an entrepreneur and investor that is synonymous with the online casino sector, is hoping he will fall into the latter camp as he unveils rather ambitious plans for a new land-based casino resort in Manhattan.
Ader has submitted blueprints for a $3 billion property in the New York borough, with the plans reportedly featuring a landing pad for flying cars (genuinely) plus a floor dedicated to cryptocurrency trading.
The project has been codenamed ‘Mirai’, which is the Japanese word for future, and it’s expected that the plans will be submitted to the relevant planning authorities on Friday.
If approved, the facility would also include one of the world’s first dedicated esports arenas, as well as entertainment venue to attract sporting and culture events to the borough. The crypto trading floor would also be the largest on the planet.
The team behind the plan, which includes Ader and the Japanese outfit Universal Entertainment, have identified a site in Manhattan already, however they may be swimming against the tide – another application for a casino in the borough was rejected back in June, with local politician Richard Gottfried stating ‘I adamantly oppose any casino in Manhattan. I believe it would be seriously detrimental to the residential and commercial quality of Manhattan.’
Casino Investor Ader Hoping for Future Gains
Individually and via his SpringOwl Asset Management Company, Jason Ader is becoming a considerable figure in the casino sector.
Ader served as a director at Las Vegas Sands for seven years, before stepping out on his own courtesy of his private equity start up. Prior to that he has had roles at Bwin, IGT and the Stars Group, where he reportedly helped to broker the sale of the company to Flutter.
He has also started his own SPAC – a Special Purpose Acquisition Company – which is listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange, and that is a way of raising capital for the purchase of private companies….hence the nickname for SPAC’s as a ‘blank cheque’ enterprise.
The SPAC set-up has already been used by firms including DraftKings and Golden Nugget in their online endeavours, and highlights the likelihood that Ader will break into the space himself – whether it’s in Manhattan or not.
Elsewhere, SpringOwl is a major shareholder in Playtech, who have been at the heart of a monumental tug-of-war between suitors including Aristocrat Gaming, JKO Play and Gopher Investments.
Ader has been pushing for the sale of the software developer, and after a £3 billion bid from Aristocrat was initially accepted he revealed:
“This deal represents a compelling alignment of strategic interests and validates our long-held view of the value of Playtech.”
He also told US news firm CNBC in November that his company would be investing heavily in casino stocks in Macau, such is his belief in the rebound potential.