Hokkaido responds to Hard Rock attempt

Hard Rock revealed yesterday its intentions to open a casino in Hokkaido and now the government will discuss the project.

Japan.- Yesterday Hard Rock International announced it will soon open its office in Tomakomai, over the Hokkaido prefecture. As a response, the Hokkaido Governor Harumi Takahashi commented to the press that she is setting an official experts’ committee to discuss the Integrated Resorts bill and the possibility of hosting a casino in the city.

As published by local media, Governor Takahashi stated: “The committee will carry out a concrete examination and listen to a wide range of opinions regarding the regional economy, international tourism, gambling addiction, and the candidate sites which should be given priority.”

The committee would be set by later this month and would exclusively evaluate the benefits and opportunities of hosting a Hard Rock casino resort in the Hokkaido prefecture. Furthermore, “the experts’ committee will also look into the question of the optimal location should a bid go forward,” as confirmed by the government.

According to Hard Rock’s senior vice president for casino business development in Asia, Daniel Cheng, “September is the plan” to land in the Japanese city. The official confirmed to GGRAsia that the company is almost ready to open shop in Japan, as the US-based casino operator rates Tomakomai as “the most suitable location” in the prefecture, but said the company had not “disavowed any of the other [possible] locations” for a casino resort in the country.

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