Elaborating upon their concept of building a “European-style” IR within Japan, representatives of Groupe Barrière told Asia Gaming Brief in an exclusive interview that an important element of their idea is that any development plans produced by the company would be “tailor-made” for the specific location under consideration.
“That means an IR that we would do in the north wouldn’t look at all to what we would do in the south,” explained Development Manager Alexandre Desseigne-Barrière, who is also the son of the French company’s chief executive. He continued, “Each time we start from scratch. We study the market. We study the culture. We study the environment. And then we build something entirely new.”
Barrière is aiming for the regional market, suggesting that their facility would not be a high-rise building but rather a more spread out complex open to the natural environment. Regulatory issues such as the 3 percent limit on total floor area for the casino do not appear to concern them.
Jonathan Strock, the director of casino development, did, however, express concern about the issue of the length of the concessions and the conditions for casino relicensing, particularly the idea of needing re-approval from prefectural assemblies every five years. “For an investor that’s a tough call,” he notes.
Groupe Barrière was one of only two international operators that set up their own booth at last week’s Japan Gaming Congress. This was a measure to improve the firm’s visibility within the highly competitive business environment.