Foreign operators to take minority stakes in Japan

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According to Delta State Holdings managing partner David Bonnet, international companies won’t hold the majority of Japan’s first IRs.

Japan.- We’re only days away from Japan making the final vote on the Integrated Resorts (IR) Implementation bill and, even though its expected that the bill will be approved by the House of Councillors, one analyst believes the industry won’t be what it was expected.

Delta State Holdings managing partner David Bonnet said that international casino operators won’t hold the majority in the country’s first IRs that they hoped for, but will instead turn out to be minority partners. “How the consortium looks to me is that it’s primarily a Japanese-led enterprise,” he said during a press conference and added: “We know the Japanese government has a preference for public-private partnerships or working with established Japanese companies.”

According to Mr Bonnet, Japanese companies have only been keeping a low profile since casinos are not legalised yet. However, once it happens, he says “you will see departments becoming formed, part of their real estate departments, and you can say that a lot of companies will start looking at the IR business much more holistically.”

Furthermore, he expects the winner of the IR licence to be “the group that promises to build the biggest Integrated Resort with the smallest casino,” and added that he is optimistic about the industry’s performance after casinos are opened in 2020.

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