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INTERVIEW: Hong Kong casino operator eyes uniquely Japanese IR

  • May 17, 2019
  • , Jiji Press , 11:10 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, May 17 (Jiji Press) — Casino giant Melco Resorts & Entertainment Ltd. wants to build a casino-featuring integrated resort in Japan that will work with the local community and provide a uniquely Japanese experience, Melco Chairman Lawrence Ho said in a recent interview.

“There would be an insult to Japan to create an IR that already exists somewhere else in the world,” Ho said. “Moving Las Vegas or Macau to Japan is not the right strategy.”

“Japan has its own unique culture, in each of its different prefectures, and I think people are naturally going to be…attracted to it,” he said.

Then he expressed eagerness to work with surrounding communities, not just a local government involved, to provide food and tourism opportunities to customers, if his firm is allowed to develop an IR.

On the issue of combating gambling addiction, the chairman said that he will implement the latest facial recognition technology to control who enters the resort.

“It’s a valid concern that needs to be addressed, and so we’re highly committed,” Ho said.

Ho stressed that a Japanese IR project will create jobs, estimating the direct employment impact at 16,000 to 18,000 people, with 20,000 needed for construction.

Pointing out that Melco has introduced NEC Corp.’s <6701> surveillance cameras at its casino resorts, Ho exhibited his willingness to cooperate with Japanese firms in developing an IR in the country.

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