MGM Resorts’ Global Development President, Ed Bowers, believes the operator’s new IR, which is set to open in Japan’s Osaka region in 2029, will be a success, despite strict Japanese gaming regulations that limit the casino floor to only 3% of IR space.
Bowers goes over the unique and difficult rules and regulations that come with running an IR in Japan.
Bowers stated during his keynote speech at G2E Asia 2022, “Japan has been very ambitious.” It wished to take the best of Singapore and elevate it to a higher level. The government demanded that bidders create integrated resorts that would attract foreign tourists, similar to Singapore. However, operators must also actively promote and send foreign tourists to attractions in other parts of Japan.
“As a result, IRs in Japan are not standalone attractions, but rather part of a tourism ecosystem.” They must promote tourism throughout the ecosystem.
“Additionally, the industry must address Japanese government concerns about problem gambling.” Concerns have resulted in some of the most stringent and detailed rules in the industry.
“Because of these objectives, the Japanese government’s requirements for facilities are much more detailed than in other countries.” The casino floor must not take up more than 3% of the total gross floor area in a single continuous space.”
Despite the limited gambling floor space, Bowers believes the casino will be able to achieve the desired financial returns from MGM Resorts’ upcoming multi-billion-dollar resort.
“We believe we can work with the 3% casino size and still deliver the expected level of GGR (gross gaming revenue),” he added.
MGM Resorts’ success in Osaka remains to be seen, so the political and gaming landscape in Asia is likely to shift once more by 2029.