MGM Resorts International is reportedly not interested in having a marginal stake in any of the three integrated casino resorts that could soon be authorized for Japan with the American casino giant instead planning to make ‘a very significant equity investment’ in any such development for the island nation.
According to a report from GGRAsia, the revelation came from Jim Murren (pictured), Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for MGM Resorts International, as part of a presentation at the firm’s analyst and investor day on Thursday.
MGM Resorts International has earlier reportedly declared that any integrated casino resort project it pursues in Japan is likely to be ‘Japanese-led’ while 2016 saw the Las Vegas-based firm state that it was prepared to spend upwards of $10 billion on such a development.
“In terms of our minimum level of consortium investment, we are not going to be interested in being a consortium partner with 20% or 30% of something,” Murren reportedly explained yesterday. “I’m not sure if we’ll have a majority or not, I don’t think anyone really knows that for sure, but we are going to have a very significant equity investment and we are going to be in a consortium that values [our] development and management and compliance expertise in the gaming sector.”
After many months of negotiations and debate, Japan’s 465-seat House of Representatives is now tasked with voting on the casino-legalizing Integrated Resort Implementation Bill in advance of a June 20 deadline. As currently written, the legislation would also establish a flat tax rate of 30% on all local gaming revenues as well as a $55 single-use casino entry fee for all native patrons.
Murren reportedly detailed that he was ‘very satisfied’ with the current proposed tax rate in relation to what it could have been and when considering the amount his firm is ‘thinking about investing’ in Japan.
“It’s all a balance between tax rate and every other element that goes into what you would do in terms of scaling the project,” Murren reportedly explained.
Regarding the proposed casino entrance fee, which does not apply to non-Japanese players, the executive reportedly stated that he was aware that Japan’s goal in legalizing the trio of casinos is to increase the levels of international tourism rather than to ‘maximize gaming revenues’.
“There’s really no way for the country to drive a level of international tourism without that kind of infrastructure investment by the private sector,” Murren reportedly declared.
Speaking during the second day of the Japan Gaming Congress earlier today, Ed Bowers, Global Development Senior Vice-President for MGM Resorts International, reportedly proclaimed that the industry ‘stands ready to provide input on any proposed regulations’ being considered by the Japanese government.
“The opportunity to provide comments will help ensure the regulations are the best possible regulations and do not result in any unintended consequences,” Bowers, who additionally serves as the Chief Executive Officer for the casino operator’s local MGM Resorts Japan LLC subsidiary, reportedly told those assembled in Tokyo.