CHAIRMAN AND CEO
MGM Resorts International
CHAIRPERSON AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
MGM China Holdings Ltd
POWER SCORE: 1,493
POSITION LAST YEAR: 21
CLAIMS TO FAME
• Chairman of the world’s second largest casino company
• Credited with keeping MGM Resorts afloat during the GFC
NOW in his 11th year as Chairman and CEO of global casino giant MGM Resorts International, Jim Murren has long held sway with the company’s shareholders for successfully guiding it through the Global Financial Crisis at a time when its future was very much in limbo. Now he appears on the verge of another major milestone in MGM’s long history – winning a license to develop an integrated resort in Japan.
Amid the crowd of global operators shuffling for position in Japan, MGM became the first to make its plans unmistakably clear in January by announcing its “Osaka First” policy, describing it as a move to “concentrate MGM’s management resources in Osaka to gain regional improvement plan approval for an IR facility in Japan.”
Such an aggressive move appeared risky at the time, but the company has since strongly firmed as the favorite to win government approval for Osaka with both Las Vegas Sands and Melco Resorts having recently pulled out of the Osaka race to focus on Yokohama instead. With just three IR licenses set to be issued and analysts estimating their combined annual GGR at more than US$10 billion, that would be quite a coup.
In the meantime, it’s been a solid year for MGM in Macau with the first full year of operation for MGM Cotai, opened in February 2018, providing a much-needed boost to the company’s market share in the world’s biggest casino hub.
For the full list of 2019 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.