US casino operator Rush Street gaming has set up its Japanese subsidiary Rush Street Japan and opened an office in the port town of Tomakomai as it looks to win a casino licence in Hokkaido.
Hokkaido is the most northern of Japan’s main islands, and is famed for its volcanoes, natural hot springs and ski areas. The port of Tomakomai is located on Hokkaido’s southern coast, close to Shin Chitose Airport. It has become a popular tourist resort with direct flights to South Korea, mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand.
Rush Street will face competition from Caesars, Hard Rock, Mohegan, Clairvest, and Foxwoods for a licence in Hokkaido, which itself will face competition from bigger, more illustrious Japanese cities to host one of the just three initial licences being tendered. Tomakomai City, Kushiro City, and Rusutsu Village have all been touted as potential locations for a regional casino.
The operator will call on its experience in developeing and operating casinos in Des Plaines, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Schenectady
Rush Street stated: “Rush Street IR facilities are developed from scratch, taking advantage of the characteristics of the area. For example, in our facilities located in North America, restaurants and lounges are carefully designed for the food culture and climate of the locaility, and hotels and entertainment facilities are constructed to melt into the area while using the land. For example, Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, has been developed to blend in with the natural landscape and is now a landmark in the area that expresses the majestic nature of Niagara. This development project was realised with the largest single investment by Ontario Government. For the facilities in Illinois state in the United States, we are the first in the IR market to acquire LEED’s gold certification, an environmental performance evaluation system.”
“In Hokkaido we will develop a custom-made IR making full use of regional features while incorporating knowledge from the world’s best real estate developer. Promoting the development of the IR will be managed thorough field survey, plans that incorporate the views of the local community, and design of facilities that considers the local environment-friendly facilities.”