Take a Gamble in Japan

Posted by Richard Poulter on Thursday, March 14, 2019

Working in construction might be considered a high-stakes game: delivering high-quality projects on time and to budget is no easy feat. But Japan is taking this to a new level, having recently passed a law allowing integrated resorts to be built – mixed-use developments featuring casinos, hotels, restaurants, shopping and other attractions – after years of restricting gambling activities and establishments. This new law will see Japan attract significant investment – and with significant investment comes significant construction jobs.

What’s Special About Integrated Resorts?

Historically, Japan has outlawed gambling, instead restricting gaming to state-run games such as horse, bicycle, motorcycle and motorboat races. The revenue from these activities is generally used by the local municipality to promote medicine, health, education and sports policies.

This new legislation will remove these restrictions, allowing casinos for the first time ever – a bold move by Japan to stimulate the economy and capitalise on tourism. Big players in the casino game such as MGM Resorts International are already putting forward proposals to create a world-class, $10 billion development that incorporates casino and gaming facilities.

Capitalising on The Casino Culture

After years of criminalising gambling, Japan hasn’t made this decision lightly, which is an indicator of just how big – and profitable – the Asian casino culture is. With Macau being the closest region to offer Western-style casinos and integrated resorts, Japan has a valuable opportunity to capitalise on the Asian market’s appetite for gaming and all-in-one leisure developments. It’s also widely anticipated that Japan’s entry into the casino market is expected to transform the industry in the Asia-Pacific region, with other nearby countries benefitting from the increased awareness.

What Opportunities Exist?

While only three integrated resorts are permitted by the current legislation, they are slated to be some of the most prestigious and complex projects around. Keiichi Ishii, the minister in charge of the integrated resorts, described his vision for the developments as “unparalleled in terms of scale and quality and highly globally competitive”. Japan is competing with similar developments in Macau and Singapore and will need to up the ante in order to convince tourists to go to Japan instead. The only way to achieve this is to employ the best and brightest civil engineers, quantity surveyors, commercial directors and construction managers to deliver exciting world-class resorts.

In fact, the race has already started – we are recruiting for a Commercial Director of Integrated Resort Development located in Tokyo. Acting as a strategic thought-partner, you’ll explore how to best obtain an integrated resort license in Japan and make the most of the prospects that this development presents. This is a rare opportunity to develop, establish and lead an innovative, growth-focused commercial strategy for one of the most ambitious and exciting projects available. If you have experience in directing major projects in the luxury resort/hotel/casino sector and excellent Japanese language skills or extensive Japanese experience, we want to speak to you – contact Richard Poulter for a discussion about how your skills and experience fit the bill.

About the Author

Richard Poulter
Construction Recruitment Director, Hong Kong
I am responsible for the recruitment business in Hong Kong, Asia, and the Middle East. I was a civil engineer and project manager for 15 years before becoming a construction industry recruitment consultant in 2004. I am based in the Hong Kong office and specialise in placing professionals in engineering, project management, planning, HSEQ and risk.
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Email: richard@maximrecruitment.com