In an interview with a Japanese newspaper, Jan Jones Blackhurst, executive vice-president of public policy and corporate responsibility at Caesars Entertainment, revealed that her company has transmitted to the Osaka prefectural and city governments a basic plan for an IR at Yumeshima island.
Osaka is yet to explicitly invite operators to submit their concepts, so this action took place at an informal level. Blackhurst indicated that the size of Caesars’ investment would accord with the specific business conditions, but that her company has no fixed upper limit in mind.
William Shen, the new managing director and representative officer of Caesars Entertainment Japan, explains to Asia Gaming Brief as follows: “We did share our proposed concept for an Osaka IR which is anchored around the three pillars of Wellness, MICE, and Entertainment; and we have also presented the concept at a couple of forums over the past few months. Based on what we have heard, we believe we are the only major operator proposing an IR centered around wellness -- a concept which we believe is in line with Kansai region's long history of leadership in the medical and healthcare industry as well as reinforces the theme of Osaka’s proposal for 2025 World Expo.”
In her newspaper interview, Blackhurst also confirmed that Caesars was one of the eight international companies which responded to the RFI process conducted by the regional city of Tomakomai, Hokkaido.
Unlike some other major US operators such as Las Vegas Sands and MGM, it is apparent that Caesars is exploring opportunities in both the major urban areas as well as regional sites.
Blackhurst is keen to emphasize to Japanese audiences Caesars’ commitment to responsible gaming, in regard to which her company has developed an unique and pioneering program that it could introduce to Japan if selected as an operator.
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