Genting Singapore, a major Asian IR operator deeply interested in the Japanese market, has been the most tightlipped of all of the bidders about their plans for the country. This changed significantly on Monday, however, with the issuance of an 84-page “Circular to Shareholders” that outlined a number of key points about the company’s objectives.
“Hokkaido is still a very strong location for one of the Japanese Integrated Resorts based on the concept of good food, good sports, and good nature. Our position is unchanged.” So says Robert Verdier, president of The Taffrail Group, which leads the Clairvest Group’s IR campaign in Japan, in an exclusive interview with AGB Nippon.
On the issue of IR development in Japan, the Shinzo Abe government has, from start to finish, acted like a political bulldozer, assuming that the opposition parties and the majority opinion of the Japanese people could simply be swept aside by overwhelming force. This approach has indeed taken them a long way forward, but the costs are now mounting and the limits may be in sight.
Caesar's wife must be above suspicion. This two-thousand-year-old nugget of political wisdom from another part of the world holds an important lesson for Japan’s fledgling IR industry even today.
Even at this late stage, the Japanese government’s policy on the taxation of casinos and IRs remains both unclear and a point of contention.
The decision by Hokkaido Governor Naomichi Suzuki to drop out of the Japan IR race does not simply remove one more local government from contention, it also represents the collapse of what was arguably the strongest IR initiative outside of the Kansai and Kanto regions, the regional IR which probably would have produced the highest financial returns.