In the run-up to the second edition of the Japan Gaming Congress at Tokyo’s Grand Hyatt this May, and with an expected six months before the first licences are issued, Mark Frissora, CEO of Caesars Entertainment, explains why the company is ideally placed to develop an IR in the region.
“This launch of integrated resorts in Japan offers a highly anticipated opportunity to develop something truly unique in Japan, different from any other IR you might find in Asia or the rest of the world. Caesars has been actively meeting with the government and in discussion with potential investors for more than ten years, so we had been monitoring the situation closely. There have definitely been a number of starts and stops, but we have recognised the government’s concerns to ensure the initiative is properly managed, and have full confidence in its process.
We look to collaborate with our local Japanese partners to develop a compelling entertainment destination with a distinctly Japanese feel. It should reflect the very best of Japanese culture and hospitality while reflecting an IR of the 21st century.
Additionally, bringing IRs and the responsible gaming programs that Caesars has developed to Japan will actually reduce the existing rates of gambling addiction in Japan. IRs do not equate to increases in problem gambling: with programs set-up and funded to educate, identify, and treat problem gamblers, independent case studies have shown that gambling addiction rates in communities where IRs have been introduced actually decrease.
Caesars has more experience than any other international operator in partnering in our IR developments, in both ownership, operations, and community relations. We embrace a collaborative culture with all of our stakeholders, where we leverage the expertise of each of our partners to provide a world-class product and experience that maximises the benefits to the government, community and investors.
Integrated resorts are new to Japan, and we as international operators have an opportunity to share our experiences and an obligation to help inform those who will be impacted by the IR industry. Each operator brings a different perspective and a varying set of strengths and expertise.