49 Hajimi Satomi
CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENT AND CEO
Sega Sammy Holdings
CLAIMS TO FAME
• One of Japan’s biggest pachinko operators
• Partner in Korea’s first integrated resort
POWER SCORE 551 LAST YEAR –
It was 1975 when Hajimi Satomi founded Sammy Corporation and began his first venture selling pachislot machines. Forty-two years later he remains as ambitious as ever, positioning the company he now presides over to become one of Japan’s first IR operators.
Sega Sammy Holdings was formed in 2004 after Sammy Corp purchased a controlling share in video game giant Sega. The resulting conglomerate’s business focus has since centered around four key segments – pachinko and pachislot sales, amusement center operations, arcade machines and video games.
But with dark clouds hovering over Japan’s pachinko and pachislot industry, Satomi has steered the company in a new direction. In 2013, Sega Sammy teamed up with Korean foreigner-only casino operator Paradise Group to build Korea’s first integrated resort, Paradise City. The US$1.3 billion project opened for business in April this year with Sega Sammy holding a 45% stake. But Paradise City is only a warm- up vehicle for the company’s real goal – operating a casino at home in Japan.
Sega Sammy has made no secret of this and even declared recently that it had dispatched 50 employees to Korea to learn the trade.
“Initially, only six employees were dispatched to Paradise, but this number has steadily grown since, coming to approximately 50 [as of] September 2017,” it said in its 2017 annual report.
Sega Sammy’s Chief Operating Officer Haruki Satomi, Hajimi’s son and heir, said the company’s Japan ambition is “to participate in all aspects of the integrated resort business, including casino operations” and that “we have been preparing steadily to realize this ambition.”
Given their progress so far, who would doubt them?
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