The executives of the six international IR operators who participated in last month’s Kansai IR Showcase probably didn’t realize that among the Japanese reporters peppering them with questions was at least one representing the Japan Communist Party newspaper Akahata. Not surprisingly, the reporter and his editors did not like what they heard.
The Japan Communist Party is now mobilizing its national network as deliberations over the IR Implementation Bill are set to commence. Akahata is covering the casino legalization issue more closely than most Japanese newspapers, but firmly from the perspective of opposing the Abe government’s policies.
The reporter who covered the Kansai IR Showcase took issue with the increasingly familiar argument promoted by some operators and their political allies that IRs should not be regarded as casino complexes, but rather as major entertainment complexes in which casinos are a small and not necessarily important part.
The reporter found a contradiction when he apparently got Ed Bowers of MGM Resorts Japan to confirm that about 75 percent of his company’s revenue came from the casinos.
The lesson Akahata drew was as follows: “Because casinos are gambling, they are able to fleece money from people and gain abnormally high income. This is their central business, and so in saying ‘it’s not a casino but rather an IR,’ they are perpetrating a fraud.”
The battle over terminology about how to describe IRs is set to continue. (AGB Nippon)