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Top honchos of gambling industry attend Nikkei Integrated Resort Forum

Niji Narayan

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Top honchos of gambling industry attend Nikkei Integrated Resort Forum
Photo Source: nikkei.com
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The imminent opening up of Japan’s Integrated Resorts (IR) industry seems to have acted huge boost for the Nikkei Integrated Resort Forum, which was held at Grand Hyatt Tokyo recently. A number of gambling industry heavy weights attended the event.

The event’s theme “Growth strategy borne by Japan’s IRs” was too inviting. There were only 600 seats, but 1400 people applied. Nikkei Inc., the organiser, had conducted a lottery to choose the 600 participants. Some of the big names in the industry who participated in the event were the following: Galaxy Entertainment Group Vice Chairman Francis Lui, Melco Resorts and Entertainment Chairman and CEO Lawrence Ho, Sega Sammy President and Group CEO Haruki Satomi as well as representatives from Wynn Resorts, MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment.

Also speaking were key members from Japan’s House of Representatives and officials from Wakayama Prefecture and Tomakomai City in Hokkaido plus a range of scholars and other industry experts.

Hiroyuki Hosoda, member of Japan’s House of Representatives, delivered the Keynote Speech.

Hosoda said: “There are high expectations for Japanese IRs to achieve the establishment of a tourist nation. I hope those in the private sector can draw on each other’s wisdom, cooperate and compete to create the best we have to offer and to work for post-Olympic economic growth.”

In a panel discussion titled “IR, the center of entertainment”, representatives of three overseas IR operators gave presentations with Jason Hyland of MGM Resorts Japan stressing that “entertainment is everything in an IR.”

Niji Narayan has been in the writing industry for well over a decade or so. He prides himself as one of the few survivors left in the world who have actually mastered the impossible art of copy editing. Niji graduated in Physics and obtained his Master’s degree in Communication and Journalism. He has always interested in sports writing and travel writing. He has written for numerous websites and his in-depth analytical articles top sports magazines like Cricket Today and Sports Today. He reports gaming industry headlines from all around the globe.

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Philippines Senator inquires about illegal workers in POGO establishments

Niji Narayan

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Philippines Senator inquires about illegal workers in POGO establishments
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An inquiry has been filed by Philippines Senator Leila M. de Lima about the illegal workers at foreign gaming firms, particularly in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO) establishments.

“Given the huge discrepancy between the number of foreign POGO workers in the Philippines and tax revenue from them, there is a need to document all foreign workers to ensure the legality of their presence and identify their taxpayer classification to accurately determine their corresponding tax liability,” Ms. De Lima said in the resolution.

The senator cited that the government is losing P3 billion in tax revenue a month due to non-payment of personal income tax by foreign workers in the POGO sector.

According to the Department of Justice (DoJ), around 95,000 foreign nationals are working in POGOs with temporary work permits as of June 2018.

Senator Lima has called for the inquiry in the hopes of creating legislation “that would increase our capability to meet the increasing challenges in implementing our laws on resident foreign nationals.”

The senator warned that the lack of coordination among government agencies “could lead to serious issues, including those of criminality, national security, and possible abuse of our citizens by undocumented foreign nationals.”

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Hokkaido gubernatorial elections hopes for an IR

Niji Narayan

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Hokkaido gubernatorial elections hopes for an IR
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The local government elections in Heisei will be one of the most widespread which Japan has ever seen with gubernatorial elections.

The Hokkaido gubernatorial election is the only one in the country where the ruling and opposition party have completely conflicting stances.

The main issues will focus on the relationship between the central and regional areas. It is also a vital election for hopes of a Hokkaido IR.

Naomichi Suzuki, former mayor of Yubari city and supported by both the LDP and Komeito in this election, said, “I will take into consideration all of the advantages and disadvantages to make the decision.” On the other hand, Tomohiro Ishikawa, former member of the lower house and supported by the five opposition parties in this election, stands firmly against an IR.

Local gubernatorial elections affecting IRs are also being held in Kanagawa and Osaka, although the Osaka vote is more about when, rather than if, an IR will open.

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Orix teams up with MGM for first Japan IR consortium

Niji Narayan

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Orix Teams up with MGM for first Japan IR consortium
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MGM Resorts in partnership with Orix enter into a consortium in pursuit of a Japan IR license. A memorandum of understanding was signed by the two companies in late 2018.

Orix said that it would enter a consortia deal with Orix as equal partners with an eye on the development and operation of an IR in Osaka.

Orix CEO Makoto Inoue states, “We are considering teaming up with MGM” for business operations in Osaka. This is the first major Japanese domestic company to throw its hat in the ring for an IR.

The consortium will undertake the operation of the IR, while casino operations will be handled by MGM. Orix also approached many Kansai companies to participate in this consortium.

MGM Chairman and CEO Jim Murren announced an “Osaka First” policy at the beginning of this year with regards to an IR bid for the city in 2024. He also states, “We want to build IR in Yumeshima, Osaka. We want to work with local business to build an IR unique to Japan so that the world will know what this country has to offer.”

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