Japanese entertainment conglomerate Sega Sammy Holdings Inc has announced a line-up of partners in its aim of leading efforts to create a casino complex or integrated resort (IR) – as such facilities are known in Japan – in the city of Yokohama (pictured).
It includes a “strategic business alliance” with architecture practice Foster and Partners Ltd, a firm founded by prominent British architect Norman Foster.
Sega Sammy already has a non-gaming resort in Japan, and is a partner in a foreigner-only casino resort in South Korea.
“By operating Phoenix Seagaia Resort, which houses the Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort and the Phoenix Country Club in Miyazaki [Japan]; as well as Paradise City, South Korea’s first IR, in Incheon, South Korea, Sega Sammy is working to acquire various know-how concerning the development and operations of resort facilities,” Sega Sammy said in a press statement this week on its Yokohama ambitions.
The same announcement cited prepared remarks from Sega Sammy’s president and group chief operating officer, Haruki Satomi stating: “Our partnership with Foster and Partners dramatically increases the possibility that we will achieve our lofty goals. We will endeavour to realise [an] IR so that we can provide moving experiences, which is Sega Sammy’s mission.”
Separately, Sega Sammy revealed a partnership with Japanese marketing firm Katana Inc on the Yokohama effort. Once Yokohama has accepted a private-sector partner – a number of major international casino firms are also said to be in the running – then the metropolis will still need to apply to the national government for the right to host one of the maximum three resorts to be permitted in the first phase of liberalisation.
Sega Sammy said it had already worked with Katana for circa two years on the “design and formulation of a Japanese-style IR business plan”.
The Japanese entertainment conglomerate has also announced an agreement with Japanese restaurant brand Kyoto Kitcho Co Ltd to “design and produce restaurants and inns” with classic Japanese elements for Sega Sammy’s intended IR scheme.
Sega Sammy took part in the recent first edition of an industry promotional event called the “Japan IR Expo” held at the Pacifico Yokohama convention centre on January 29 and January 30. Mr Satomi gave a presentation at the event.
It had been reported by local media in November that Sega Sammy – also known as a maker of pachinko machines and operator of pachinko halls in the Japan market, had already participated in a request-for-concept phase on the IR topic initiated by Yokohama.
Japan’s national government had said last week that it would make public only in February or March its “basic policy” on IR. It had been originally slated that a final draft on basic policy was to be published within January. But the country’s central authorities plan to stick to a previously-mentioned schedule for the application period during which local governments can seek the right to host an IR. That has been proposed as from early January, 2021, up to July 30 that year.
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