Will Japan whet Europe’s expansion appetite?

It’s 15 years since Macau flung open its arms to international gaming companies and major US operators wasted little time heading to the Far East to plant their flags firmly in the ground. Casino gaming in Macau exploded, while gleaming IR’s have since sprouted up across many parts of Asia. Interestingly, though, Asian, US and Australian gaming operators have been behind most of the multibillion-dollar developments; European companies were conspicuous by their absence during this boom. And this is still the case today. One explanation is the sheer scope and cost of most projects. “There wasn’t a cadre of European companies with the experience of these multi-faceted, multi-market resorts, who could take advantage in Asia,” says Fredric Gushin, managing director of Spectrum Gaming Group. Indeed, while American operators could demonstrate that they had built and managed large-scale IR’s, Europe’s casinos are predominantly smaller, gaming-centric properties. Warwick Bartlett, CEO of Global Betting and Gaming...

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