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Japan

Hard Rock International is attempting to boost its attraction to the forthcoming Japanese IR market by drawing attention to its recently launched “Rock Om” program.

Nagasaki Governor Hodo Nakamura faces an electoral challenge from a candidate affiliated with the Japan Communist Party as he seeks a third term.

In a piecemeal fashion, Japan is beginning to strengthen its anti-addiction infrastructure in anticipation of the opening of its first IRs in the next decade. The latest step is the establishment of the Hyogo Kobe Addiction Countermeasures Center, which will include a hotline for telephone consultation.

Asia’s ever-growing number of IRs are seeking to add non-gaming attractions to diversify their tourism base and provide a unique draw, but the jury is out as to whether combining casinos with theme parks can provide a winning combination. Although theme parks are big business in Asia and draw in the crowds, they need a unique selling point, branded merchandise and strong visitation to generate enough revenue to warrant the return on investment.  

Asia’s ever-growing number of IRs are seeking to add non-gaming attractions to diversify their tourism base and provide a unique draw, but the jury is out as to whether combining casinos with theme parks can provide a winning combination.



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TransAct Technologies said it has teamed up with AIGC Co., a new consulting agency focused on the potential casino gaming market in Japan, to promote its products.

Hideo Sawada, the founder of H.I.S., one of Japan’s largest travel agencies, who is also president of Huis Ten Bosch, the theme park in Sasebo city has sketched out a grand vision of an undersea casino in Nagasaki.

Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi sketched out in slightly more detail her policy on the possibility of bidding for an IR at her city’s Yamashita Pier location.

Spokesmen for the Abe government are signaling that passage of the IR Implementation Bill is near the very top of its priorities for the Ordinary Diet Session beginning on January 22.

The Japan Racing Association (JRA) began implementing third-party gambling addiction exclusions at the end of December, heralding a new direction in Japanese policy expected to apply not only to current forms of gambling, but also to the IRs likely to open in the mid-2020s.

The year 2017 saw a distinct acceleration in the race to obtain licenses to build and operate Japan’s first IRs. While everyone agrees that the potential scope of the market is vast, without the precise locations and the terms of regulation yet being clarified, estimations of the ultimate size of this market remain little more than guesswork.

The year 2017 saw a distinct acceleration in the race to obtain licenses to build and operate Japan’s first IRs. While everyone agrees that the potential scope of the market is vast, without the precise locations and the terms of regulation yet being clarified, estimations of the ultimate size of this market remain little more than guesswork. Progress in the year was once again stalled by politics, though operators are hoping to push forward in 2018 with both the legislative framework and their own groundwork.



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