Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment weighing up Japan IR bid

Mohegan Japan Mario Kontomerkos

Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment has confirmed it is still considering whether to make a bid to enter Japan’s nascent integrated resorts market.


The company’s CEO Mario Kontomerkos said it was “currently evaluating options in Japan”, but was “unable to confirm specific regional locations” at present.

“We see Japan as a great source of opportunity for tourism and integrated entertainment resort development and will continue to seek large entertainment markets where our unique product can truly shine to sophisticated and mobile consumers,” stated Kontomerkos, speaking to the gaming media.

Mohegan had previously expressed interest in investing in an IR project on Hokkaido – the northernmost of Japan’s main islands – with the company opening a regional office in Tomakomai last year. However, the decision by the island’s governor, Naomichi Suzuki, not to pursue one of the country’s first three IR licences threw a spanner in the works.

In mid-December, Hard Rock Japan President Ado Machida said his company had been willing to invest $5bn in an IR project in the region. “We have only been focused on Hokkaido,” Machida explained. “I really don’t understand [the Governor’s decision] and I feel it’s a bit of a waste. An IR was expected to help drastically mitigate the problems of population decline, the declining birthrate, an ageing population and the tax decline that comes with that.”