Had the three Japanese IRs already been open for business, the crisis over the spread of the Wuhan Coronavirus would have been very bad news for the industry, and Japanese gaming industry managers would now be grappling with most of the same difficulties facing Macau, Singapore, and the rest of Asia.
In FY2018 Konami Gaming posted sales growth of 5.2% and profitability growth of 8.2% as the Japanese company continued to gain market share in the global slot machine market. Total sales amounted to almost 31.2 billion yen (about US$284 million) over the course of the year with profits of more than 4.7 billion yen (about US$43 million).
Other Asian nations such as Macau, Singapore, and even South Korea have little to fear from the opening of the three Japanese IRs in the middle of next decade, according to a panel of experts speaking on the first day of the G2E Asia conference in Macau.
Economic growth in Asia will not be enough to fuel the estimated US$65 billion in new casino development across the region, warns Union Gaming analysts.
Aging populations are posing challenges for the world’s developed economies, with Japan among the worst affected, and the gambling industry is also feeling the fallout. For example, studies have shown that millennials just aren’t spending money on gambling, or in casinos, in the same way as their parents did.
Among the non-gaming attractions that should be considered for Japanese IRs are major nightclubs. One of the objectives of IRs, after all, is to provide 24 hour per day entertainment in Japan, and thus boost consumer spending. This movement is already afoot in other parts of Asia.