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Japan has seen numerous twists and turns in its bid to establish an integrated resort industry, though perhaps one of the most unwelcome was the arrest of a deputy minister at the centre of a money-for-favours scandal surrounding IR development plans for Okinawa and Hokkaido.
It was considered a foregone conclusion in gaming circles that Osaka will be a venue for one of the first three integrated resorts in Japan, though the entry of Yokohama into the race and shifting political sands highlight the fact that nothing should be taken for granted.
Japan has made MICE business one of the key pillars of its integrated resort policy, though it’s unlikely to topple Singapore as the regional leader.
There is a growing trend towards businesses founded on the premise of social capital, though despite their enormous profits, most casino firms have yet to sign on.
Gaming companies have long recognised the lucrative potential of teaming up with sports, and as new jurisdictions open up to casinos, operators are seeking to leverage these ties to boost brand recognition, woo the public and dull the gambling edge.
Besides being titans in the casino world, there’s something else that Sheldon Adelson, Stanley Ho, Lim Kok Thay and Steve Wynn have in common and this factor may lead to important regulatory repercussions for their business empires.
Singapore’s two integrated resorts will cast a longer reflection on the island state but new shadows cloud the horizon across the southern shoreline.