The Japanese government has outlined the amount of hotel and meeting space it hopes to see in any casino resorts built in that country.
Kyodo news agency reported that hotels at the venues – known in Japan as integrated resorts or “IRs” – ought ideally to have an aggregate of 100,000 square metres (1.08 million sq feet) of hotel accommodation; and meeting space amounting to up to 120,000 sq metres, capable of accommodating up to 6,000 people. The report quoted a government announcement.
Kyodo reported that the aspirations far outstripped what was offered currently in any Japanese leisure and conference facility.
The news outlet stated that – based on the average size for a Japanese hotel room, which it said was 50 sq metres – the recommendation would mean 2,000 hotel rooms for an IR; “far exceeding” the 1,500 hotel rooms found currently at one of the country’s largest hotels.
The news outlet said the largest exhibition floor space in Japan was at Tokyo Big Site with 95,000 sq metres, and the largest conference halls were in Tokyo and Yokohama, each with capacity for 5,000 delegates.
A figure of US$10 billion had been mentioned by U.S.-based MGM Resorts International – a suitor for a Japan licence – as the likely cost of building a casino resort in that nation.
While sell-side analysts have largely been bullish about the revenue potential for a Japan casino industry, during 2018 there were also some expressions of concern that Japan’s democratic to-and-fro – and the cultural importance in that country of reaching consensus – might produce a local industry so bound up in red tape that it could have a negative impact on its potential for generating gross gaming revenue (GGR) and profits.
Kyodo’s report said that the Japanese government had suggested that in the case of a smaller-scale IR, the aspiration was for a 60,000-sq-metre convention room and a conference room that held 3,000 people.
The Japanese authorities have indicated that one of the up to three casino locations allowed under the first phase of market liberalisation could go to a smaller community.
Cabinet approval of the requirements would come at the end of March, after public comments, which were open until March 4, reported Kyodo.
A recent Kyodo News survey, covering all of Japan’s 47 prefectures and 20 major cities eligible to host an IR, found only three areas had active plans to apply to the national government for permission.
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"MGM Resorts remains deeply committed to pursuing an integrated resort in Osaka, Japan"
Chairman and chief executive of United States-based casino operator MGM Resorts