United States-based casino operator Wynn Resorts Ltd will aim for innovative forms of business tourism and entertainment in its plans for a so-called integrated resort in Japan.
That was the view expressed on Thursday by Matt Maddox (pictured), president of Wynn Resorts, a group currently with casino operations in the U.S. and Macau, and eyeing – like many of its large-scale peers – to expand to Japan.
Mr Maddox was speaking during a company presentation on the second day of the Japan Gaming Congress in Tokyo. The two-day conference about the planned Japanese casino sector is organised by Clarion Events Ltd.
The Wynn Resorts executive said one of its Japan strategies would be to focus on meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE). “It is MICE but it has got to be MICE 2.0,” Mr Maddox said. “It has got to be something more interactive,” he added, saying the firm was currently experimenting with some new concepts in that field in the U.S.
A Wynn Resorts project in Japan would also focus on entertainment, Mr Maddox added. “The entertainment needs to be uniquely Japanese, but we do believe it needs to be immersive and interactive,” he stated.
Mr Maddox also said Wynn Resorts would adopt best-in-class employment policies and high standards for customer service. The firm would aim to establish deep ties with local communities, he stated.
Legislation making casino gambling legal in Japan came officially into effect on December 26. That piece of legislation – referred to by its supporters prior to its enactment as the Integrated Resorts Promotion Bill – got the final approval from Japan’s parliament on December 14.
Casino legalisation in Japan is a two-statute process. After approval of the enabling bill legalising casino resorts at the conceptual level, a second piece of legislation has now to be passed, detailing the specifics, including how casinos are administered and regulated.
On Wednesday a panel of experts advising the Japanese government on the casino legislation process proposed that Japanese integrated resorts should feature the following core elements: a casino; convention space; recreational areas (i.e. shopping malls, museums); facilities promoting domestic tourism in Japan; and hotel accomodation.
The same panel suggested that prefectural governments and those of designated cities should respectively link with casino operators in order to submit jointly an integrated resort proposal. These proposals would then be reviewed at a national level, by the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry, which would select the projects to be implemented.
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Managing director of Bay City Ventures Ltd, a Japan-based marketing consultancy.