Steve Wynn Discusses Potential Japan Expansion

Steve Wynn, Chairman of the high-end hotel and casino chain Wynn Resorts Ltd., revealed his interest in expanding the company’s business on the Asian market by obtaining a license for a new integrated resort in Japan. In a recent interview with Nikkei Asian Review, Wynn stressed on the company’s dedication to quality.

The entrepreneur went on to explain that in order for a major gambling operator of a high rank like Wynn Resorts to penetrate a new market like Japan, it needs to choose a strategic city which allows for the training and recruitment of personnel that can provide the highest-quality service to visitors. According to Wynn, Osaka, Yokohama, and Tokyo are all suitable destinations for the launch of high-end casino resorts.

Mr. Wynn’s company presently owns and manages high-end hotel and casino resorts in major gambling hubs like Macau and Las Vegas. Another massive project on its schedule is the $2.4-billion Wynn Boston Harbour Resort, which is expected to open doors for visitors on the East Coast no sooner than the summer of 2019. The project involves a five-star integrated resort in the town of Everett, Massachusetts, which is to feature high-end accommodations, restaurants, convention centers, spa, a harbor walk, and of course, a gambling venue.

Mr. Wynn also broached the subject of Japan’s opening its market for a regulated gambling industry. The country is currently in the midst of discussions regarding the introduction of a new piece of legislation to regulate its gambling market. Local Japanese media outlets recently reported that the Liberal Democratic Party has already settled on a deal with political partner Komeito in an effort to push through the Integrated Resort Implementation Bill at the next session of the Japanese parliament, which is to take place this fall.

Operators are Concerned Strict Regulations Can Impede Japanese Market Growth

Wynn Resorts is hardly the only company interested in penetrating the Japanese market, which is estimated at $25 billion. Other major gambling operators looking to expand into this lucrative market include MGM Resorts International, Las Vegas Sands, and Caesars Entertainment. This past August, the Japanese legislators began discussions on the recommended guidelines to regulate major casino resorts in the country.

Some of the proposed guidelines are rather stringent and can impede the growth of a market that otherwise offers great potential to gambling operators. The strict guidelines are actually in line with the public stance on introducing gambling regulations as over half of Japan’s residents object to casinos. Some of the guidelines proposed by Japanese legislators include limited floor space, a limit on the number of casino visits locals are allowed, as well as limiting the available gambling options to games of chance only. These rules all aim at curbing problem gambling among the residents of the country.

When asked about the matter, Mr. Wynn responded that proper regulations are indeed the key to a successful market. In his opinion, taxation and other similar aspects of casino regulations can have a significant effect on whether the country’s gambling sector would thrive or not.

Mr. Wynn also took the time to comment on the effects of the anti-corruption campaign, conducted by the Chinese government. According to analysts, this corruption crackdown has caused a steep decrease in Macau’s net gambling revenue for the period between July 2014 and July 2016.

However, Mr. Wynn is of the opinion that the business in Macau is getting back on track, at least as far as Wynn Resorts Ltd. is concerned. The entrepreneur also took the opportunity to commend the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, responsible for casino regulation and licensing in Macau. The careful investigation of the Bureau has caused only junket operators that are financially strong to retain their licenses, which resulted in a healthier, stronger gambling market, Wynn explained.

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