Within the next month or so, Groupe Barrière will legally establish its Japanese branch as a concrete step toward bidding for an IR license.
So far, Director of Casino Development Jonathan Strock and his team have been based in Paris, as he explained in an exclusive interview with Asia Gaming Brief, and this has required monthly trips to Japan that have extended into longer and longer stints due to the volume of work that needs to be done.
Strock is currently interviewing candidates to become local Barrière staff members. The actual opening of a Barrière office in Tokyo may still take a few months, mainly because a decision has yet to be made about just how many staff will be based in the local office.
Strock revealed that Barrière has to date participated in the Tomakomai, Hokkaido, and Wakayama RFI processes. The French firm has its eye on the regional Japanese markets and emphasizes that it envisions a consortium with Japanese partners who bring real substance to the table. “We would be quite happy to hold a minority stake,” Strock notes.
Barrière is also working on a project to bring Japanese university students to France or Switzerland on a training course.