Caesars to count on MICE and entertainment in Japan bid

Caesars Entertainment is counting on its MICE and entertainment experience to carry off the prize of a casino license in Japan, says William Shen, the company’s managing director for Japan and South Korea.

Caesars is interested in four destinations in Japan, including Osaka and Tomakomai. Speaking in an interview at G2E Asia, Shen outlined what he sees as Caesar’s unique selling points for the hotly contested licenses. In the first round of bidding only three IRs will be permitted and most of the major names in the global gambling industry are lobbying hard.

“We are the most trusted, transparent partner and can offer transformative capabilities that can have a lasting impact on Japan and that can be proven,” he said. “We do engage in long-term partnerships, we have consistently been the industry leader in all facets of CSR and responsible gaming, whether it’s to be the first to commit to climate change goals, or the first to commit to gender equality rules.”

“At the end of the day there’s very few IR operators that have the true depth of experience in the two areas that Japan cares about most which are MICE and entertainment. And if anyone really pushes to understand exactly how strong we are in those two dimensions it will make us stand out.”

Like most of the players seeking a license, Caesars has been building its presence on the ground for some time and has recently announced several initiatives to raise its profile and improve its chances.

In March, group CEO Mark Frissora and other senior executives visited Japan and announced a

CSR fund, with an initial pledge of 25 million yen towards Responsible Gaming Initiatives in Japan. While in February, it became an official sponsorship partner of the 2025 World Expo Committee’s bid to host the World Expo 2025 in Osaka, Kansai.

It is also sponsoring singer Celine Dion’s 2018 Japan tour.

The company’s MICE team supports approximately 16,000 meetings and conferences and hosts two million attendees annually.

Shen said Caesars, which emerged from bankruptcy protection last year, would be willing to become a minority partner in a Japanese consortium and has not set a minimum limit.