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Japan – Anticipation for Japan Gaming Congress grows

By - 21 March 2018

Clarion Gaming has confirmed even more support for the next Japan Gaming Congress to be held from at the Conrad Tokyo from May 10 to 11 with major sponsors including Galaxy Entertainment, Melco Resorts Entertainment, MGM Resorts, SJM Holdings Macau, Transact, JCM Global, Hard Rock, Caesars Entertainment, Clairvest, Konami and more.

During this week Caesars Entertainment President and CEO, MarkFrissora was in Osaka and held a meeting with Governor Ichiro Matsui and Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura. Earlier this month Caesars became an Official Partner with Osaka in its bid to host the 2025 World Expo in Yumeshima, next to the planned site for the major IR. The meeting with the governor and the expo sponsorship demonstrated Caesars’ strong intention to bid for the Yumeshima site. Caesars is, in fact, the fourth international IR operator to become Osaka’s Official Partner on the expo bid, following Melco, MGM, and Hard Rock.

The 2017 edition of JgC was the largest event of its type held in Japan, attracting delegates from both local and international markets.

Rory Credland, Event Director at Clarion Gaming, explained: “The current state of play in Japan could potentially see a gaming Bill pass in June thereby enabling a number of licenses to be issued and in the process create one of the most significant jurisdictions in world gaming. “JgC will provide a platform for delegates to meet with the prefectures and decision makers behind the bill, and gain some real up to the minute insight as to what the legislation will look like, bearing in mind a preview has not been released.”

Japan Gaming Congress 2018 will focus on a variety of topics, including updates to the much anticipated legislation including bills related to ‘Problem Gaming’ and general IR regulation which are estimated to be announced during 2018.

The first theme will be IR Non-Gaming Amenities. This will look into incorporating entertainment into Japanese IRs, how to facilitate an international market and taking a global perspective, where attendees will see a showcase of non-gaming innovation in the US, Singapore and elsewhere. Speakers for this theme already include; Nick McCabe, CEO of Hakkasan Group and Yoshiyuki Oshita, Chief Director for Mitsubushi Research & Consulting.

The second theme to be discussed is IR Economics. This will look into the opportunities for local businesses and communities, and the Economic impact on Japan vs the rest of Asia. Speakers confirmed for this theme include; Mimi Koga, President of Japan Poker Union, Chris Gordon, President of Wynn Resorts Development and Koji Ishikawa, Shareholder of Greenberg Traurig.

The third theme is Innovating Tourism. This will look into selecting, financing and building in the right location from the government’s perspective, and supplier conversations, where panellists will discuss how to understand your target players, responsible gaming and the Japanese cultural influences effect on design & content. Speakers confirmed for this theme include; Angus Cole, Principal of Clairvest Group, Michael Mecca, President of Galaxy Entertainment Group and Tom Niemna, VP of Marketing for JCM Global.

The fourth and final theme is, IR – A Vision for the Future. This will look into new technologies, how to capitalise on the gaming culture, and payment systems as well as crypto currencies. Speakers confirmed include Earle Hall, CEO of AXESNetwork, with more confirming this week.

In addition to these tracks, the event will look at setting realistic expectations on the positive impact an IR will have on the local communities.

Some other key topics will include:

• Government and regulatory update
• Understanding the customer profile
• Hear several key operators share their vision
• Focus on the hotel and non gaming elements of an IR
• What is the global perspective?
• What are the opportunities for local communities and businesses
• What will be the economic impact?
• Learn from others about the RFP process
• Picking the right spot for an IR
• What does the future hold for gaming in Japan

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