Former Sands China Ltd boss Edward Tracy (pictured) is to be chief executive of Hard Rock International’s newly-announced Japan division.
Hamish Dodds, chief executive of Hard Rock International Inc – a business linked to the native American entity the Seminole Tribe of Florida – had said in an interview with Bloomberg published in November that it was willing to make a “major investment” in Japan in the event of casino gaming being legalised there. Such a bill was passed on December 14, although investment analysts have said that – with a second piece of legislation required to create the regulatory framework for the industry and the location of venues – it could be beyond the year 2021 before the first Japanese casino resort opens.
Mr Tracy – who retired as president and chief executive of Macau casino operator Sands China in March 2015 – led that firm during a key point in its Cotai construction phase, including the opening of Sands Cotai Central in April 2012 and the development of the Parisian Macao, which subsequently opened in September 2016.
In a Monday press release, Hard Rock International said Mr Tracy’s appointment as boss of Hard Rock Japan LLC was “a strategic move designed to support the company’s growth plans in the region”.
“As the former CEO of Sands China Ltd and CEO of the Trump Organization, Tracy brings more than 30 years of proven gaming, hospitality and integrated resort experience to Hard Rock,” said Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International, in a prepared statement in the press release.
The document said that when Mr Tracy was CEO of Sands China he was responsible for the oversight 13,000 hotels rooms and 30,000 employees. While he was president and chief executive of the Trump Organization – a business founded by U.S. President Donald Trump – he was responsible for managing more than 12,500 employees, 3,000 luxury hotel rooms and 240,000 square feet (22,297 sq metres) of casino space, added the press release.
The Hard Rock brand already has a presence in casino resorts in Asia via the Hard Rock Hotel in Macau, which features a gaming venue operated by Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. The branded gaming area is at Melco Crown’s City of Dreams Macau casino resort on Cotai.
“With the recent passing of Japan’s Integrated Resorts Promotion Bill, the company fully intends to apply this expertise and recognition as a major contender among the bidders for resort licences,” Hard Rock International said in Monday’s release, referring to Mr Tracy’s expected contribution.
In November it was confirmed that a consortium involving Hard Rock International and Hong Kong-listed Melco International Development Ltd – the latter the majority investor in Melco Crown – was the preferred bidder for a casino licence in the Republic of Cyprus.
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”We have not had discussions about the concession renewal with the [Macau] government. We have taken the view that if we continue to deliver on what we expect is the expectations from operators, then we will be treated fairly”
Chairman and chief executive of MGM Resorts, the parent of Macau casino operator MGM China