Galaxy Entertainment Group’s Chief Operating Officer – Japan Development, Ted Chan, says the company is focused on correcting a number of key misconceptions surrounding IRs as it steps up its pursuit of a Japanese IR license.
Speaking at an Open Forum on IR Global Leadership Development in Tokyo on Saturday, organized by the University of Macau, Chan said Galaxy’s success in Macau was largely a result of balancing “social harmony” with its business pursuits, but added that it was important to relay the positive message of IRs to the Japanese public.
“Whilst we are happy to be industry disrupters, we also believe in the importance of balancing Social Harmony as the route to success … and we are now going through a similar process here in Japan,” Chan said.
“Through carefully listening to the community, we have learned that there are many misperceptions about IRs in Japan. This does not surprise us. But if IRs are to be truly accepted in Japan it is important that we the industry and you the community work together harmoniously toward a common goal.”
Chan outlined six common misconceptions Galaxy had come across while engaging with the local community, namely that an IR is just a casino, an IR only focuses on gaming customers, IRs will increase gambling addiction, the community doesn’t benefit from IR’s, IRs are playgrounds for adults only, and entertainment in IRs is not very cultured.
However, the reality is that, “Currently there no IRs in Japan and few Japanese have experienced a modern day IR for themselves – relying heavily on information garnered from the media, movies and television.”
It was, Chan said, the responsibility of operators to educate the Japanese public on the reality of the modern day IR.
“A truly integrated resort is a complex array of facilities and attractions, developed for the enjoyment of a wide and diverse group of customers, employees and stakeholders,” he said. “And a truly responsible IR operator goes far beyond simply developing and managing a World Class facility.
“At Galaxy we believe in listening to, collaborating and sharing our success with the community. By striking a balance between business excellence and social responsibility, misperceptions about IRs can be reduced and the business will perform with greater harmony in the community. Should we be given the opportunity, we look forward to doing the same here in Japan.”