In a crowded field of international IR operators hoping to obtain one of the three licenses available in Japan, Caesars Entertainment hopes that one of its key competitive advantages is its commitment to “the highest levels of integrity.”
Steve Tight, president of international development, told Asia Gaming Brief in an exclusive interview that in this effort to convince the Japanese authorities that Caesars is their safest and best IR operator partner, the lack of a Macau operation—which for years has stood as a disadvantage to the company from a financial point of view—may be to their advantage from a reputational and compliance point of view.
In a similar vein, Caesars has also put consistent emphasis on their programs to combat problem gambling, having already created a network of Japanese contacts in this field.
As far as the question of where Caesars will be making its partnership bids, Tight suggested that it is still too early to make such decisions. Until the local governments themselves have formally announced their candidacies, he suggested that it was wrong for operators to be too outspoken, especially since it could be interpreted as the businesses trying to put pressure on the local governments.
In response to questions about the recent changes at Caesars at the top management level, Tight noted that he recently spoke to both Chairman James Hunt and new CEO Anthony Rodio, and both of them expressed their enthusiasm about Caesars’ bid for a Japan IR and that they would be offering proactive support. Visits by these executives to Japan may not be too far in the future.
Even with top management changes at Caesars, Tight noted, there has been a consensus that moving forward in Japan is the right move for the firm, and in that sense there has been a stability of purpose.