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Spotlight on Japan

Monday, 08 May 2017 08:30
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The second Japan Gaming Congress takes place this month with leading operators, local politicians and industry experts converging on Tokyo for this landmark event.

 

With the eyes of the gaming world now very much focused on Japan, May sees the Grand Hyatt Tokyo play host to the second edition of the Japan Gaming Congress (JgC).

It is now three years since the inaugural JgC in 2014 and how the stakes have changed since then. December saw Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) pass the long-awaited Integrated Resorts Promotion Bill in December, which legalized casino gambling and set in motion the more critical push to pass the Integrated Resorts Implementation Bill. The Integrated Resorts Implementation Bill will set out the framework for IRs in Japan including where they are to be built, how licenses will be issued and the regulatory framework around which they must operate.

Which brings us to the JgC – a two-day educational forum that will offer clear, practical insight and understanding into Japan’s casino legislation. Featuring 14 panels focusing specifically on issues surrounding Japan’s gaming industry, topics to be discussed will include:

• Understanding Japan’s political environment

• Which IR model appropriate for Japan

• Opportunities for local firms to enter the market

• Building a MICE economy and its benefits

• Problem gaming: What’s the solution?

• Licensing regulations: What will they look like?

• IR locations and the importance of choice

• Best practice in IR financing

The JgC will include preliminary speeches from Mr Yoshihide Suga, Chief Cabinet Secretary for the LDP, who will discuss Japan’s growth strategy around IRs; and Mr Hiroyuki Hosoda, Chairman of multi-party committee for the LDP, who will talk about the policy objectives of the government’s IR promotion.

The Congress will include a special Operator Vision concept whereby leaders from some of the world’s most prominent gaming operators will provide individual presentations throughout the day sharing, “their insights and general vision on how they plan to use their knowledge and experience to create a unique IR whilst successfully collaborating with their Japanese stakeholders,” according to event organizer Clarion Events.

These will include Melco Resorts CEO Lawrence Ho, Galaxy Entertainment Group President Michael Mecca, Marina Bay Sands CEO George Tanasijevich, Wynn Resorts President Matt Maddox, President of International Development at Caesars Entertainment Steve Tight, MGM Resorts CEO and Representative Officer Ed Bowers and Sega Sammy President and COO Haruki Satomi.

They will be watched by representatives of other operators from all corners of the globe keen to learn more about Japan’s potential IRs, while the JgC’s VIP guests will include key government groups and attendees from the City and Prefectural Governments of Osaka, Hokkaido, Wakayama and Nagasaki.

Among the presentations not to be missed at the JgC will be one by Global Market Advisors regarding its new White Paper – Japan Integrated Resorts, which includes a recommendation to create an “Osaka Strip” of IRs similar to the Las Vegas Strip and Macau’s Cotai Strip.

The other standout attraction will be the first ever foreign introduction and presentation to a non-Japanese audience by the Chairman of the Japan Game-Associated Enterprise Corporate – effectively the Japan Pachinko Association – to discuss Pachinko and its view on the upcoming IRs.

Of course, Inside Asian Gaming will not only be in attendance but will be playing our part too with Editor-at-Large Muhammad Cohen chairing Day 1 and CEO Andrew W Scott moderating a panel on non-gaming within Japanese IRs.

We’ll be keeping readers up to date on all the goings on in Japan via our daily Breakfast Briefing e-newsletter and in coming issues of IAG.

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