The increased clarity regarding the terms of IR regulation in Japan following the ruling coalition compromises is also throwing light on which institutions are now advantaged and which are disadvantaged in the race for licenses. Seth Sulkin, head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan’s task force on IRs, describes the outcome to Asia Gaming Brief as “a major victory for the major casino operators and large Japanese cities.”
In early September, MGM Resorts International CEO James Murren emphasized in a public presentation that his company was looking for a “Japanese-led” IR consortium in a major urban market. He wasn’t specific about what he meant in practical terms, but clearly MGM envisages its Japanese partners playing a major, perhaps a predominant role in a future IR. Caesars Entertainment made a similar statement, however, so far few Japanese companies have come out opening as saying they are prepared to take the lead.