An executive at a Philippines holding company established in 1999; Bloomberry Resorts Corporation, has today voiced his concerns over the lack of clarity relating to locations and regulations along with escalating costs of Japan’s integrated resort plans.
The plans, which involve the issuing of three licenses to develop integrated resorts in Japan, should have operators ‘thinking twice’ about investing in developments in the East Asian nation.
Enrique Razon Jr, chief executive officer of Bloomberry Resorts Corporation also reiterated the firm’s commitment to Japan whilst voicing the concerns in an interview with a business to business digital and print industry media firm.
“It’s becoming a bit of a joke. The process is pretty much muddled still and nobody really knows what’s going on. I know in Japan pachinko is very popular, but do they actually play baccarat? We don’t see much of that here, even though there’s a lot of Japanese in the Philippines. You don’t see that much anywhere actually, so there are still question marks. Is it going to be an integrated resort with a massive floor of pachinko? Is that how it is going to end up? There are still a lot of questions to be answered.”
Razon Jr elaborated on the uncertainty surrounding the issue and what the future holds:
“It’s also hard because a prefecture will be going for an IR and then they suddenly back off. Some of them are very serious, but the numbers are quite mind boggling. We would definitely consider other locations, it’s just that Wakayama seems determined to develop an IR whereas some of the others are kind of iffy. Tokyo doesn’t want one, Yokohama maybe, maybe not. Chiba said they wanted one, and now they say they don’t want one. So what is this process anyway? Where’s the clarity? It’s a US$10 billion investment (in metropolitan locations like Yokohama). If I had US$10 billion sitting on me, I don’t know if I would build that casino. Are we going to end up with 20 IRs in Japan or just four or five? What can the market absorb? These are unknowns. It could be the greatest thing in the world, right? Nobody knows.”
Very little progress has been made in Japan with regards to developing integrated resorts and although the government insists that its plans are still moving forward, time, attention and money has been diverted towards tackling the coronavirus outbreak, including the cruise ship quarantine, which made headlines last week.