Japanese casinos need to look beyond gambling

Japanese casinos need to look beyond gambling

Thursday, December 29, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
Analyst suggests Resorts need to compete globally for tourists

The Japanese casinos will need to be world class if they are to be sustainable, according to an international leisure expert.

As the Japanese Diet gets ready to discuss how its new casino regulations will be formed, the expectation is that it will follow the model adopted in Singapore, which has two Integrated Resorts and where several prominent Japanese politicians have visited over the past few months on fact finding trips.

However Eugene Christiansen, CEO of consultancy Christiansen Capital Advisors LLC, believes that Japan’s casino infrastructure would have to look beyond merely gambling.

He wrote: “Singapore is a notable success in that it has established a statutory and regulatory environment for two very large integrated resorts. The policy goal Singapore sought to realise with its casino law was to create diversified integrated resorts that would attract tourists for extended stays, not just gamblers. Casino gaming and nothing else is too narrow a franchise today to support a competitive tourist industry.”

He also advised that any tender should probably take into account experience in designing, building and operating these large scale enterprises. He explained: ““Integrated resorts are not for amateurs. Anyone can build a casino. But true IRs are the most complicated leisure entertainment products ever brought to market.

“If Japanese IRs are going to attract affluent tourists and keep attracting them after the novelty of gaming has worn off, they must be competitive with the best IRs in the world, meaning the best properties along the Las Vegas Strip, in Singapore, in Macau, and wherever else in the world such world-class IRs are built in the next 25 or 30 years.”

Totally Gaming says: Singapore casinos also have large scale problem gambling prevention measures in place, with limits on the number of visits per month people can attend and several triggers for exclusion, only one of which needs the gamblers’ consent. Such measures could help persuade a lukewarm Japanese public that the new Integrated Resorts could bring big benefits.

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