US casino operators would undoubtedly prove to be a success story if selected to operate one of three Japanese integrated resorts, believes Bill Miller, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association.
Speaking to Inside Asia Gaming, Miller believes the positive influence created on local communities should be a key consideration for decision makers in Japan, in addition to a proven economic impact made by such organisations in Macau.
Recent moves have seen MGM Resorts International state that Osaka was “the only city, the only prefecture” that the company wanted to host an IR, with Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts also thought to be interested in the region, while Caesars and Mohegan and Gaming Entertainment eye opportunities elsewhere.
One prerequisite in the preferred operator of a potential Osaka based IR however, is stumping up approximately $180m for a rail extension to Yumeshima, its preferred destination.
Addressing the potential of US operators occupying one or more of the prospective licenses, Miller is quoted as saying: “Ultimately when you are looking around for the best operators, they are the ones that care, that make investments in communities, that show their commitment to the local communities in which they operate, and I think American operators have a very good story to tell.
“I’ve been to Las Vegas many times since I began this job, but I’ve also been to tribal properties and I’ve seen what the gaming industry has meant both from a commercial perspective and from a tribal perspective.
“I’m a Chamber of Commerce guy at heart and I absolutely believe that you need economic hooks to create communities and whether it be a hospital, a university, a casino or IR, this ecosystem is a very positive one in communities across the country.
“As the Japanese government is going through the decision-making process – and they’ve designed what an IR should look like in their opinion – they will ultimately have to look to those operators who are in-market today and applying those values, and I think our guys have a very good story to tell.”