Galaxy Entertainment furthers Japan ambitions
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Galaxy Entertainment furthers Japan ambitions

As Japan plan to give out a limited number of licenses to select players in the gaming industry, Galaxy Entertainment is stepping up its research efforts in the country. There’s good reason for that. Japan is a potentially-lucrative market that has been off-limits to casino operators until now. While roughly two thirds of Japanese are opposed to gambling – in public opinion, it’s associated with the seedy underbelly of organised crime – casino operators find the prospect of all those wealthy retirees a compelling one. With an aging population of 35 million, the country could easily outstrip tiny Singapore as a gaming hub. Hence, Las Vegas Sands boss Sheldon Adelson referred to it as the “ultimate business opportunity.”

Galaxy Entertainment’s share price has inched upwards by 1% over this week

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Source: Yahoo Finance

In a recent interview with Inside Asian Gaming, Galaxy Entertainment Group deputy chairman Francis Lui said that requests for information have been submitted to seven cities: Nagasaki, Osaka, Tomakomai in Hokkaido, Wakayama, and Yokohama, as well as prefectures Aichi and Hokkaido. The company is investigating each and every city that is open to having an ‘Integrated Resort’ (a casino that operates as part of a larger operation, including hotels, restaurants, etc.) to see which would be the best fit.

Liu explained: “Different cities have different needs or different requirements and preferences. Bigger cities like Osaka and smaller cities like Wakayama – each of them have their own uniqueness and own preferences, which is why we need to understand more before we make a decision. In a city like Osaka, we would not be building a theme park such as a Universal Studios, and we won’t be building a baseball park in Osaka either, because we don’t want to build facilities that would be competing with existing facilities. We would like to do something else that would be complementary to the city and the establishments there. That’s why we need to learn what we can do for each city – that’s our approach.”

Should Galaxy be successful in getting a license and winning its bid to build and operate an integrated resort, the company would need to find a local partner. According to Liu, the company is “always looking for good, reliable Japanese partners,” but didn’t want to be drawn on who they might be or what they might contribute. “I think it is too premature for us to say what we must have,” he said. “We need to sit down and discuss it pragmatically.”

Dominion holds Galaxy Entertainment Group in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.

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