Hard Rock puts on a show in Yokohama

Hard Rock International unfurled its banner in the Japan IR race with a major concert by Grammy award winning alternative rock band Muse and a press conference. The event also featured a new Japan-oriented logo, “Hard Rock Experience,” with a Japanese-language subtitle which translates as “The Future of a Japan-Style IR.”

The Muse concert was held in the Yokohama Arena in front of an audience well in excess of 10,000 people.

At the press conference, Edward Tracy, Hard Rock’s CEO for Asia, emphasized that his company stands apart from other international IR operators in terms of its origins and orientation: “Entertainment is our DNA. We are an entertainment company first and a casino company second.”

He explained that Hard Rock would be bidding for both large urban IRs as well as regional locations, and revealed that they had already submitted plans to two local governments, though he declined to name them.

When asked about the level of investment Hard Rock was prepared to make, Tracy answered as follows: “If I was a journalist, I would be asking all these companies who say ‘I’m going to spend US$10 billion.’ My question would be, ‘How do you know that?’ If you don’t know where it’s going to go, you don’t know what the tax rate is, you don’t know if you are going to have a mandated partner, and if so how much, how can you possibly know what your capital structure is?”

Nevertheless, he expressed full confidence that Hard Rock was suffering no disadvantages in this respect: “Frankly, we have the best balance sheet in the business, so it’s not a challenge for us and we don’t have to brag about it. We do it.”

More news from this jurisdiction

JapanThursday, Mar 22, 2018

The Japanese government leaked to the media on Thursday that operators are likely to be required to report any casino chip-cash exchanges that exceed 1 million yen (about US$9,500).

JapanWednesday, Mar 21, 2018

The Japan Gaming Congress expects to attract even greater support in 2018 after holding the largest event of its kind in Japan last year, organizer Clarion Gaming says.

South Korea, Mainland China, JapanTuesday, Mar 20, 2018

Mobile games are likely to grow by more than 8 percent per year through 2020, far outstripping growth for the PC and consoles, according to Daniel Kashti, chief marketing & commercial officer of Kama Games.

South Korea, Greater China, JapanTuesday, Mar 20, 2018

eSports global revenue for 2017 was estimated to be US$696 million and is expected to more than double to US$1.5 billion by 2020, with the Asia Pacific heading growth, according to Newzoo, a market intelligence firm.

JapanSunday, Mar 18, 2018

According to a local media report, the Tomakomai municipal authorities have compiled their interim report on the IR they hope to build, projecting a US$2-3 billion investment by the time the facility’s doors open.

JapanFriday, Mar 16, 2018

The IR implementation bill won’t be submitted to the legislation this month, as had been planned, throwing doubt over the timetable for the bill.

JapanWednesday, Mar 14, 2018

Six local medical and children’s organizations have presented a petition to the local government opposing any IR bid from within the prefecture.