Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts is one of the world’s leading global hospitality companies, operating a portfolio of brands including Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, and the MGM National Harbor in Maryland. The company more recently opened MGM Springfield in Massachusetts. Hong Kong-based MGM China Holdings owns the MGM Macau, which opened in 2007, as well as MGM Cotai, which opened in 2018, giving the group a strong presence in Asia as well.
MGM Resorts International has focused its Japan IR ambitions entirely upon Yumeshima in Osaka, and is considered by most analysts as the frontrunner in that location.
Family Name: Murren
Given Name: James
Role: Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Profile: Murren was a Wall Street financial analyst who joined MGM Resorts in 1998 and quickly climbed the ranks. He has served as chairman and chief executive officer since 2008 and has been the driving force behind a number of high-profile IR acquisitions and new property openings, including the Mirage Resorts acquisition, CityCenter in Las Vegas, and most recently MGM Cotai in Macau.
Family Name: Hornbuckle
Given Name: William
Role: President and Chief Operating Officer
Profile: Hornbuckle spent the majority of his long career in the gaming industry with Mirage Resorts in various senior management positions. At MGM he rose into the top executive ranks, becoming president and COO in February 2019. He is the chief construction, design, and development officer in charge of MGM's global expansion efforts.
Family Name: Sanders
Given Name: Corey
Role: Chief Financial Officer
Profile: Beginning his career as a tax specialist at Arthur Andersen, Corey Sanders has since spent more than two decades with MGM Resorts, rising to the position of chief operating officer from 2010-2019. Since March 2019, he has become the company's chief financial officer.
Family Name: Bowie
Given Name: Grant
Role: Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of MGM China
Profile: Bowie was educated in New Zealand and has had a long career in the gaming industry. He spent sixteen years with Park Place Entertainment Corporation in Australia, holding senior positions in gaming, general finance and hotel operations. He joined MGM in 2008 and has been Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of MGM China since 2010.
Family Name: Sandoval
Given Name: Brian
Role: President of Global Gaming Development
Profile: After spending four years as a member of the Nevada Assembly, Sandoval became the youngest ever chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commision in 1999. After stints as the attorney-general of the State of Nevada and as a federal judge, he returned to politics and was elected governor of Nevada in 2010. Immediately after stepping down after two terms in January 2019, Sandoval joined MGM.
Family Name: Kastrati
Given Name: Ari
Role: Senior Vice President for Food & Beverage Strategy
Profile: Kastrati joined MGM Resorts in 2010 after a stint in the Mina Group, a San Francisco-based company that creates and operates upscale restaurants. He gained his present title as senior vice-president in 2015.
Family Name: Hyland
Given Name: Jason
Role: Representative Officer & President
Profile: With a strong background in Japanese studies, Hyland rose to become Charge d'Affaires of the US Embassy in Tokyo under the Obama administration before being tapped in 2017 to help lead MGM’s Japan activities.
Family Name: Bowers
Given Name: Ed
Role: Representative Officer & CEO
Profile: Bowers is MGM Resorts International's executive vice-president of global development and also has been CEO of MGM Resorts Japan since its establishment in 2014.
From last November, when Osaka won its bid to host the 2025 World Expo, until August of this year, when Yokohama announced that it was entering the race, Osaka Yumeshima was looking like it would become host to the grandest and most successful IR in Japan.
The addition of 25 new-to-market VIP tables at MGM Cotai helped to spur revenue growth at MGM China, though the mass market is seen as the prime growth opportunity going forward.
Resorts and Orix Corporation clarified that all three regional airports—Kansai International Airport, Itami Airport, and Kobe Airport—will be associated with their consortium’s bid to build an IR at Osaka Yumeshima.
MGM Resorts’ accord to divest two major assets will raise US$4.3 billion in net proceeds and potentially raise funds for a development in Japan, according to analysts at Bernstein Research.
For the third year running, MGM Resorts has become a sponsor for the October 12th to 13th Dotombori River Festival, in particular focusing on the Yosakoi dancing events.
MGM Resorts on Thursday agreed to pay up to US$800 million to victims of the 2017 mass shooting outside its Mandalay Bay Casino & Resort in Las Vegas.
Melco Resorts & Entertainment announced on Wednesday that it would focus its IR campaign on Yokohama and that it was suspending its participation in bidding for the Osaka Yumeshima location.
MGM Resorts took the opportunity of the local withdrawal of a major rival, Las Vegas Sands, to reaffirm that its IR bid in Japan was clearly focused on Osaka Yumeshima.
MGM Resorts Chairman and CEO James Murren has told the Japan Times that there is still enough time to open the Osaka Yumeshima IR before the 2025 World Expo, and thus capturing the benefits of having an estimated 28 million people coming to the next-door attractions of Expo.
MGM Resorts reported net revenue of US$3.2 billion for the April-June 2019 period, which represented 13% growth over the same three-month period last year. Analysts suggested that this was largely in line with expectations.
MGM Resorts Japan will be a co-sponsor for Osaka’s major Tenjin Festival for a second consecutive year, including the dedication of fireworks for the festival’s finale.
The Nihon Keizai Shinbun is bringing its high-powered IR Forum to Osaka, marking the third in the Nikkei series, but the first held in the Kansai region.
The six major IR operators in Macau are directly employing more than 108,000 people as of 2018, according to a survey made by Macau Business magazine.
Las Vegas Sands’ Managing Director for Global Development George Tanasijevich has offered the clearest statement yet that his firm is now following MGM Resorts in pursuing an “Osaka First” strategy.
The Japan IR Association (JIRA) held its third event within the Diet Building complex on June 19, this time focusing on the role of entertainment within Japan’s anticipated IR industry.
Despite local entry fees and high gaming tax, MGM Chairman and CEO Jim Murren believes Japan to represent the highest ROI gaming IR opportunity in the world right now.
It has recently become possible to understand with increased clarity which IR operators will be bidding for Japan’s two major markets—the Kanto and the Kansai—and where each of them are now focusing.
MGM Resorts has abandoned talks with Wynn Resorts over the sale of its US$2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor casino, according to an announcement on Tuesday night.
The US$2.6 Billion Encore Boston Harbor hasn't even opened its doors yet, but it has emerged that Wynn Resorts—whose license was only quite recently confirmed by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission—is negotiating a possible sale of the facility to MGM Resorts.
During an earnings conference call, Melco Chairman and CEO Lawrence Ho seemed to acknowledge that MGM Resorts’ tie-up with the Orix Corporation would make them tough to beat for the Osaka IR license and that Melco was beginning to focus its attention on other parts of Japan.
Japan’s three IRs are likely to generate between US$5 billion and US$9 billion in gaming revenue, with the mix depending on the location of the properties, according to Fitch Ratings.
MGM Resorts Japan has announced that it will be holding an exhibition in central Osaka for approximately three weeks on the theme of “What’s an IR?”
Analysts at Morgan Stanley expressed optimism for Macau’s gaming industry over the medium term, with expectations of a market cap doubling by the end of 2022, driven by improving infrastructure and other factors.
MGM China has announced that it has now eliminated all single-use plastic both in its takeaway packaging at its shops as well as at all of its restaurants at its Macau IRs.
MGM Resorts has formed a partnership with the regional powerhouse Orix Corporation in its bid to be selected by the Osaka prefectural government for IR development at Yumeshima.
Joe Torre, chief baseball officer of Major League Baseball, offered a very cautious evaluation of the sport’s rapidly growing relationship with the legalized gambling industry. “I don’t think there’s any secret—it’s a concern,” he told AGB Nippon at a press conference in Tokyo on Wednesday.
This year’s Japanese Spring show at the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden features as its centerpiece a ten meter tall replica of Osaka Castle, a meaningful addition to the annual event.
The Macau government on Friday announced it has extended the licenses of SJM and MGM to June 26, 2022, following requests from both operators.
Activist investor Carl Icahn again raised his stake in Caesars Entertainment on Monday and is likely to push for a sale of the operator, though Las Vegas Sands is the only one with the funds for a cash-based takeover, Bernstein Research said.
In a ceremony held on the 7th at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in Kasumigaseki, Tokyo, MGM Resorts International was officially certified as an overseas Japanese food and ingredient supporter, meaning that it is utilizing authentic Japanese food products directly from Japanese suppliers.
Flexing the muscles of the partnership signed last November with Major League Baseball, the MGM logo will be given prominent billing at the regular season opener between the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners at Tokyo Dome on March 20 and 21.
MGM Resorts International announced last Thursday a reshuffle of its leadership team aimed at driving the company’s strategic direction and implement change as part of its MGM 2020 initiative. The leadership changes will be effective as of March 1.
Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun in Connecticut continue to report significantly lower slot machine revenue more than half a year since MGM Springfield opened its doors in neighboring Massachusetts.
James Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International, told investors on an earnings call this week that his company is “focusing our energies” on its Osaka IR bid, and that he feels optimistic about MGM’s chances for success, in spite of the highly competitive environment.
Last September, Kansai Gaidai University opened the nation’s first academic program focused on hotel management, explained Stephen Zurcher, the program’s director, in a recent exclusive interview with AGB Nippon.
Sega Sammy Creation announced that it successfully installed its "Baccarat Maximum Fortune" gaming machine at MGM Macau on January 23. This follows the debut the same variety of machine at MGM Cotai last June, indicating that it has been well-received.
US casino operators Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts have each been recognized as among of the “World’s Most Admired Companies” by Fortune magazine’s annual survey.
MGM Resorts has tipped its hand further by officially announcing an “Osaka First Policy” by which it will concentrate its management and planning resources at its newly opened office in Nakanoshima, Osaka.
MGM Resorts International said it has appointed former Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval as president of global gaming development to spearhead the group’s global expansion, particularly in Japan.
MGM Resorts has gone on the offensive against the tribal operators Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment by directly targeting customers in their home base of Connecticut, upping the ante in fierce competition for market share in the US northeast.
MGM Resorts has opened a major art exhibition by the well-known Japanese contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama at its Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art in Las Vegas.
MGM Resorts announced that it has become the first-ever "Official Gaming Partner of Major League Baseball" and "Official Entertainment Partner of Major League Baseball”—an arrangement in which MGM’s IR bid in Japan is clearly kept in mind.
At least three of four of the major US casino operators will continue to rely on Macau as their growth engine over the next five years, said Bernstein in a note. These companies include Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands, and to some extent, MGM Resorts.
The Nihon Keizai Shinbun’s high-powered IR Forum in Tokyo drew more than six hundred guests, not including the many others who reportedly had to be turned away by an excess of applications. The event brought together government officials, IR operators, analysts, and others for an intensive day-long event last Wednesday.
Tak Chun Group, a Macau junket operator, on Monday held a grand opening for its new VIP room at the MGM Cotai and said it was planning overseas expansion in the coming year.
It was fully anticipated that Connecticut-based Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment would see their revenues suffer with the opening of MGM Springfield in neighboring Massachusetts, but now the first figures are in—both of the Native American tribe-owned casinos witnessed revenue falls of 10% in October.
All four Las Vegas-based operators which are in the hunt for an IR license in Japan reported strong financial results in the July-September period.
Hopes that Wynn Resorts had fully moved on from the Steve Wynn era were dashed last Wednesday when the scandal-plagued former chairman and CEO sued the company that he had co-founded. Steve Wynn also sued the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
Macau has considerable potential for further growth and is likely to remain the world’s largest gambling market, MGM Resorts International CEO James Murren told CNBC in an interview.
Systemic shifts in the long-term relationship between China and the United States are underway, with the two economic superpowers charting an increasingly divergent path, and the change in course may have major implications for Macau’s operators, according to a leading risk consultancy.
MGM’s new IR in Springfield, Massachusetts, may provide a boost for the firm’s ambitions in Japan, according to analyst John DeCree of Union Gaming.
The selection of Ado Machida to front Hard Rock’s effort to win an IR license in Japan highlights a trend that was already clearly visible—some US operators are attempting to leverage in a not-too-subtle fashion the military and security links between Washington and Tokyo.
In what is becoming something of a tradition, MGM Resorts was the only IR operator to participate in this year’s Dotombori River Festival in Osaka, now for the second consecutive year.
Macau operators have been “collectively positioning” themselves to appeal to non-gamblers ahead of the 2020 and 2022 concession renewals.
MGM Resorts Japan was a special sponsor for an event last week called the 2nd ASEAN-Japan Music Festival, held at NHK Hall in Shibuya Ward. A representative of MGM Resorts pointed to this festival as an example of the company’s intention to promote Japanese musical acts both domestically and internationally.
Several months after the passage of the IR Implementation Act, there remains little sign that international IR operators are making a serious effort to utilize social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter to build brand awareness or to engage directly with the Japanese public.
MGM China Holdings said it will stop using single-use plastics, such as straws and takeout containers, in all of its Macau restaurants from the first quarter of next year.
Ari Kastrati, MGM Resorts’ senior vice-president for food & beverage strategy, held a meeting in Sendai city on Monday with five local seafood processing companies and a brewery, looking to establish relationships with the Japanese region that was devastated by the March 2011 tsunami.
Mainichi Shinbun broke the story on Friday that a PwC consultant working for the Osaka government on the development of IR policies was seen eating and drinking aboard MGM Resort’s Tenjin Festival boat last week, allegedly raising questions about his troubling degree of fraternization with one of the operators expected to bid for an IR license at the Yumeshima site.
James Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International, told the Japanese media on Wednesday that his company would be able to make its full contribution to Japan only in a major urban market, and that Osaka is the location he is aiming for.
MGM Resorts and Galaxy Entertainment, which are both vying for a license in Japan, have won awards for their corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs at an event organized by the Mirror Post of Hong Kong.
Two major US operators, Las Vegas Sands and MGM Resorts, delivered press releases hailing the passage of the IR Implementation Act shortly after it occurred on Friday night.
Japan’s largest weekly news magazine by circulation, Shukan Bunshun, has published an article accusing Caesars Entertainment of engaging in a practice which they contend effectively amounts to the bribery of Japanese politicians, but which Caesars argues is an accepted and legal practice.
As another plank in its campaign to woo the local community. MGM Resorts will be bringing the Blue Man Group from Las Vegas to Osaka to participate in the Tenjin Festival later in this month.
Fitch Ratings has reaffirmed the credit rating of MGM Resorts and its MGM China unit, saying the group’s credit profile is improving.
MGM Resorts and MGM Growth Properties said they have agreed to buy Empire City Casino’s racetrack and casino for US$850 million, entering the high-density New York market.
MGM Resorts has announced that it will be participating in the Dotonbori Spring River Festival in Osaka in early May as part of its latest effort to woo the local community in pursuit of an IR in this major urban market.