The Kyushu IR Promotion Council (KIRC) held an online seminar on Friday, aiming to promote local procurement and tourism to the IR industry as part of the efforts for an IR bid in Sasebo, Nagasaki.
KIRC is an organization consisting of the Kyushu Governor’s Association, the Kyushu Prefectural Assembly Chairpersons’ Association, the Kyushu Economic Federation and other Kyushu economic organizations.
Chairman Yutaka Aso’s opening greeting emphasized both adjustments to ensure local demand generated by an IR and establishing a system of cooperation for tourism in all areas of Kyushu as major initiatives of the council.
He stated, “This seminar is for continuous, basic study of the IR industry, including licensing and compliance.
“[IR] is an ambitious theme for Kyushu. We want it to lead to strengthening the economy and creating a main flow into the tourism business.”
Takeshi Kaji, representative of Gaming Standards Association Japan, and Kohei Hasegawa, HOTERES editor-in-chief, both gave presentations discussing the diversity of the demand from the IR industry, from the people who will work in Japan’s IRs and the business opportunities that will grow from it.
The Innovation Group’s Michael Zhu said, “Some may be worried about cannibalization but do not worry. Rather than competing for the same pie, it is essential that we make the pie big so that each can have a greater share with IR. There are many examples of this in overseas markets.”
Ron Goudsmit, president of Easyplaytime and Honorary Chairman of the European Casino Association, commented, “Instead of just one place, [the whole of Kyushu] uniting to support an IR bid would be a smart move. I think there are stereotypes surrounding casinos and IRs. However, it has changed significantly as a business and is now more stable and reliable. It also creates opportunity for local companies.”
Sasebo mayor Norio Tomonaga also spoke, stating, “I believe the power of the Kyushu business community is crucial for linking the effects of a Kyushu/Nagasaki IR to the promotion and development of the economy in this region and the Japanese economy in the post-pandemic era.”
The KIRC’s next seminar is scheduled for November.