Japanese entertainment conglomerate Sega Sammy Holdings Inc says fresh “opportunities for the domestic IR [integrated resort] business may emerge in the next one to three years”, but in the meantime that it might look at online betting investment outside Japan.
The Sega Sammy group had hoped to be a partner in a consortium featuring casino operator Genting Singapore Ltd in a tilt at a Yokohama casino resort, until on October 1 that Japanese city formally ended its interest in bidding.
Sega Sammy subsequently said that the end of the Yokohama opportunity would have little impact on its business outlook.
Sega Sammy’s latest update, mentionng the prospect of fresh involvement in IR investment in Japan, came during the management’s discussion with analysts and institutional investors, of the group’s second-quarter earnings for fiscal year ending March 31, 2022.
The group supplies casino gaming equipment via its Sega Sammy Creation Inc unit, and also makes pachinko machines and supplies digital home entertainment.
For the six months to September 30, Sega Sammy Holdings made a profit of JPY12.01 billion (US$105.2 million), compared to a loss of just under JPY21.72 billion in the same period a year earlier.
The management representatives involved in discussion with analysts were Haruki Satomi, president and group chief executive, and Koichi Fukazawa, senior executive vice president and group chief financial officer.
The firm’s senior spokespeople said during the discussion that pending any further IR opportunities in Japan, there might be “opportunities to invest heavily in other areas, such as online betting which is gaining force overseas”.
If such scenarios were to arise, “there is the chance we prioritise them,” said the commentary from the Sega Sammy group’s senior management.
Under Japan’s liberalisation programme for casino business, up to three resorts will be permitted nationally. Currently, only three local communities are in the running for respectively hosting a large-scale casino resort. They are: Osaka, Nagasaki, and Wakayama.
The Japanese government opened on October 1 the application period for local authorities to pitch as host for a casino resort, and announced the weighting it will give when scoring such requests. The closing date for applications is April 28.
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