Slots Developer Konami Weighs In On Japanese Casino Industry
One of the world’s largest slot machine suppliers, Konami Holdings Corp. has voiced its interest in participating in Japan’s gambling industry with the caveat that a comprehensive regulatory framework, much akin to the strict regulations in Las Vegas, be adopted. Konami operates across the globe, with more than 400 licenses on nearly every continent, save for South America and Antarctica. It is one of the largest providers of gambling machines to casinos worldwide. Currently, the company holds licenses in 45 of the 50 US states.
According to officials, the company would focus its efforts in the slot machines market of the Japanese casino industry, targeting an estimated 12% market share. This is consistent with the company’s current presence in the US gaming scene. As many as 10,000 slot machines, according to Executive Director Satoshi Sakamoto, would be placed within three integrated resort properties. Last year the company took in roughly $215 million following a short round of restructuring and cost cutting efforts. Since the legalization of gambling in Japan, Konami’s stock value has enjoyed a rise of 16%.
Konami Senior Executive Director Sakamoto urged officials and operators to create a reputable industry that will attract visitors and enable resorts to not only provide gambling outlets but events as well. Examples of such events included corporate gatherings and school reunions.
Konami’s officials brought up the strict regulations in Las Vegas as a way to preface the company’s caution when approaching the new Japanese market. Sakamoto expressed his concerns of wading into the new territory during an interview last week, where he said,
“In Las Vegas, if you have a license they’ll take it away if you start getting involved in strange things, and that would be a big problem. If Japan is too loose, then we’d have to remove ourselves.”
The strict regulations that Sakamoto refers to call for checks into casino operator finances of executives as well as their spouses once every two years.
Other Operators Eyeing Japan
Many of the largest companies with casino operations in Las Vegas and abroad have expressed a keen interest in the new Japanese Market, including Las Vegas Sands Corp, MGM Resorts International, and Wynn Resorts Ltd. Billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson was reportedly willing to invest as much as $10 billion for a piece of the market.
This year another bill is expected to be voted on in regard to how many properties will be allowed in the new Japanese market and their prospective locations. The Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia (CLSA) expects the industry to bring in as much as $25 billion in revenue annually. It is anticipated that the first Japanese casinos will open their doors in 2023.
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